Brijendra Kumar, a Partner Government and Public Services, KPMG in India, discusses the benefits of intelligent governance resulting from data-driven decision making, efficient delivery of services, and democratic and open government backed by technology that is easily accessible, interoperable, and reliable.
In an interview with Dataquest, He discusses how initiatives are being implemented in India, which have led to citizen’s and business-driven business approaches, the tools that have helped in scaling these initiatives, and the cases of success that India has demonstrated.
Edited excerpts from the book:
How can India implement innovative governance that streamlines its business and corporate governance?
India has already taken initiatives in this direction. For instance, the data governance and quality initiatives by NITI Aayog assess the data preparedness of departments and ministries using a standard framework to encourage them to use data to inform decisions.
India Enterprise Architecture (India) is working to break down departmental silos and re-designing to re-imagine the Government into a single organization and implementing the principles of interoperability by default and ‘Once Only which means that businesses and citizens offer the same information only once to a government agency and “interoperability by default.’
Even the State governments such as Tamil Nadu and Haryana are taking on projects like State Family Database (SFDB) and Parviar Pehchan Patra (PPP), which aims to connect databases from multiple departments together to make improvements and, when necessary, offer services to the citizens.
Initiatives such as My Gov have increased the participation of citizens, but we’ll need more channels that can further enhance citizen participation in policy at the state, center, or city levels. In the future, governments might need to consider the shift away from a ‘citizen-centric’ approach, where Government anticipates the needs of businesses, businesses, and citizens. Requirements for a ‘citizen-driven’ approach allow citizens and businesses to decide their individual needs and then deal with them in collaboration with the Government.
What technology will play a significant role in creating transparent and efficient governance?
Technology is an essential facilitator of open, efficient, and open governance. The concepts like available data digital by default, cloud-first, mobile-first, access for everyone, and interoperability on a default basis. Depend on the proper selection of technology.
With the increase in connectivity to the internet and mobile, The volume of data consumed and stored has multiplied.
A few of the more relevant technologies include big data analytics cloud, social media, cloud digital payments, open data, and many more. But it’s the new technologies that are providing a myriad of opportunities, including natural processing of languages, IoT, augmented reality blockchain, location intelligence, and the digital twin.
What are the best ways for startups, enterprises, and companies to participate?
Innovative governance can provide multiple opportunities for businesses and startups to participate in digital transformation and participation in policy. The large scale of intelligent cities has resulted in large corporations making investments in the cities to serve as testing labs. Additionally, many prominent Indian IT firms have taken part in the journey to intelligent governance by offering technology-related expertise and implementing big projects like Passport Seva, GST, and MCA 21, where they have utilized their global experience. Forums for an industry like NASSCOM and FICCI comprised of business representatives have a significant role in providing crucial inputs to policies like the Data Protection Bill and National Semiconductor mission.
Startups play a significant role, particularly in harnessing the latest technology to improve governance. Initiatives such as Startup India and Startup Hub have encouraged startups to develop solutions to governance issues and provided seed funds for promising startups to grow.
Startups have shown incredible potential in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Vision, and Natural Language Processing. Blockchain as well as Augmented reality drones, drones, etc. Startups are currently working by NeGD, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Defence, etc. To provide innovative solutions.
What are the best steps for government officials and policymakers about the technology of intelligent governance?
Rapid technological advancements, particularly in the emerging technology areas, are causing massive disruption and unpredictability in the current regulatory system. It’s becoming increasingly important for policymakers to balance encouraging technology, protecting consumers, and addressing the possible undesirable consequences of technology-driven disruption.
Some of the critical actions for the government and policymakers in the light of this environment are
Develop policy frameworks, as well as digital enablers
The whole of the Government Approach (IndEA)
- Open Standards/ API
Trust and Security
- Digital enablers, such as Digilocker, Mobile Id, Single Sign-On, and electronic signature
- Cross leverage IT infrastructures such as Cloud Data Centers, Quantum computing, etc.
Facilitating bi-directional interactions between citizens, GovernmentGovernment and Business
Establish a Policy Lab: These will be forums where policymakers interact with key stakeholders (researchers, businesses, and customers) to quickly recognize and analyze a problem and then co-create and test the policy solution.
It makes ever more data accessible (particularly spatial information) and makes it easier to reuse data with security and privacy.
Digital platform for business and citizen engagement a gradual shift towards Business- and Citizen-driven Governance.
Digital Capacity Building
To ensure the adoption of Smart Governance, the capability of government officials must be developed to develop, procure, and implement technology-driven solutions.
What impact will this have on the Indian economy?
India could create as much as $1 trillion worth of worth of economic benefit (equivalent to 18-23 percent of the nation’s nominal GDP)) through the digital economy by 2025, with a quarter of the potential coming from emerging digital economies.
The potential increase of fivefold in value (from the current 200 billion US dollars of GVA) due to India’s digital transformation before 2025 will create an expanding market for various digital platforms, services, apps, content, and solutions.
Digital innovations could lead to the need to transfer 40-45 million employees and create around 20 million new tech-related jobs.
This is an excellent opportunity for local and international companies or startups and platform-based innovators that are investing in new technologies (for instance, artificial intelligence, blockchain drones, robotics, and drones) specifically tailored to the needs of India.
Additionally, do you know of any case studies in India and across the globe that demonstrate the effectiveness of using technology to improve governance?
Indian Case Studies
Digital India Aadhaar is the World’s most prominent digital identity scheme that has given a distinctive digital identity to 122 million people. It serves as an identity infrastructure to deliver various social welfare programs. It has also enabled diversion and portability in PDS and a reduction in manual intervention, quicker supply of LPG cylinders, access to cleaner fuels, and facilitation of access to digital services provided by GovernmentGovernment.
JAM Trinity for DBT: The combination of more than 40 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts, mobile phones of 121 crores, and digital identification through Aadhaar. Aadhaar will enable the most disadvantaged to get the benefits directly into their bank accounts.
Digital payment: The policy and principle of India adhere to open platforms. UPI, the payment platform, is very well-known for it has made people’s lives simple and easy. For Calendar Year 2021, UPI in India processed more than 38 billion transactions totaling INR 71.59 trillion. The launch of UPI in 2016 UPI has seen rapid acceptance, which was further increased through the Covid-19 outbreak. It has crossed 1 billion transactions for the first time in October of 2019. The following 1 billion transactions came within one year. In October of 2020, UPI processed more than 2 billion transactions for the first time. The transition from 2 billion transactions per month to around 3 billion transactions was completed in 10 months, which shows the awe-inspiring growth of UPI as a payment platform for transactions in the retail sector for consumers.