Use of mobile applications in public services, offered by the central and the state governments, can help increase efficiency of administrative processes by 80 per cent, according to a report by the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and the KPMG India.
Titled ‘Contribution of Smartphones to Digital Governance in India’, the report said by rolling out mobile apps for government services the processing time of such services could be increased eight times.
“Smartphones and e-services can be leveraged by the government to unlock 80 per cent improvement in efficiency and 8x reduction in processing time,” the ICEA said.
The report refers to efficiency of online processes, like land use change, water connection, passport issuance in paperless government offices.
As per the report, around 45 crore citizens have benefited through 300 government apps and it’s a success for the “Digital India” programme. The government has adapted these services to suit the growing consumer demand for mobile apps, which is fuelled by advantages offered by Open OS (operating system), like Android.
According to the report, the growth in internet use is expected to be driven by rural users, many of whom will use these devices in local languages. Essential elements for digital governance apps and portals, included local language capabilities, offline functionality, low storage need and integration with other governance platforms, it said.
All these features were enabled by Open OS with over 300 essential government services being made available through mobile apps on the Play Store, it said.
Several states are also accelerating digital initiatives through select government apps. Smartphones have proved vital to the government response to the Covid-19 crisis, enabling the government to reach citizens through apps, like Aarogya Setu, which has seen over 13 crore downloads and is available in 12 Indian languages.
Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, said, “Smartphones have facilitated access to a rapidly expanding range of digitally delivered services through apps, like Umang, Digilocker and Bhim, and also through mobile-friendly websites.”
Smartphones were helping transform the lives of Indians, both urban and rural, through communication and assimilation of information, he said and added, they were essential components for delivery and improving effectiveness of e-governance initiatives.
Pankaj Mohindroo, ICEA Chairman, said the momentum towards digital governance had many benefits, like increase in efficiency, reduction in processing time and access to citizens.
“The prevalence of Open OS in smartphones has facilitated inclusion of vernacular languages and reduced the time taken to build supporting mobile apps. With the goal to digitally equip and connect every citizen, India is using smartphones and technologies to stride towards a truly digital nation,” he said.