The Indian Government’s has announced the m-Governance framework within the new National e-governance plan, which aims to build on the expansive network of mobile connections in the country and use mobile applications to enable easy access to public services to the general public, especially in the rural areas.
The measures laid down within this new framework include – mobile complaint websites of all Government Departments and Agencies; as per Government Policy on Open Standards of e-Governance, there shall be open standards adopted for mobile applications and; uniform or single pre-designated codes to be used for mobile based services.
Under this, all Government Agencies and Departments are required to develop and deploy mobile applications for providing all their services through mobile, and also give service levels for all such services. The government will also develop a Mobile Services Delivery Getaway (MSDG), an essential core and shared infrastructure for enabling availability of mobile services and for implementing the measures in a time-bound manner. The shared infrastructure would be used by all Central and State Government Departments and Agencies.
A set of separate steps would be taken to ensure the effective implementation of this new framework while maintaining levels of security, these would be –
- Taking into account the end user interface which includes different kinds of devices apart from mobile phones, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, landline phones, PDAs and other wireless devices. Since there are a variety of interfaces to take into account, considerations needs to be given to issues like bandwidth limitations, micro-browser and micro-screen restrictions and even memory and storage capacities.
- Mobile ready content needs to be generated for mobile devices since they have lower bandwidth and smaller screens, meaning that separate content needs to be in place for mobile and wireless devices. To reach out a maximum number of users, applications also needs to be developed in various Indian local languages at an affordable cost. For this purpose, open source software and open standards will used.
- An all new m-apps store will be created to smoothen the process of development and deployment of relevant mobile applications. This app will further be integrated with the MSDG.
- There will be Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Value Added Service providers will be offered by the MSDG to ensure interoperability and compliance with standards.
- The authentication of users for mobile based public services will; be done through electronic authentication for which the MSDG will bring out appropriate mechanisms, including Aadhaar-based authentications. Privacy of data and transactions is the primary reason this would be taken up.
- A new mobile gateway for payment of public services will be incorporated to enable users to pay for services electronically.
- All Central and State Departments and Agencies would be encouraged to provide their services through the common MSDG, which would prevent a possible duplication of infrastructure.