Why Digital Panchayat (DP)?
In India, 70% of the population resides in rural areas and villages. There has been a large digital gap between the urban-centric part and the rural part of India. So, it becomes more necessary to utilise ICT tools for social, economic, administrative and governance regeneration. Recognising the e-Governance, the Government of India has introduced various reforms and initiated many interventions under policy level like the IT Act of 2000, the 2004 National Broadband policy and so on and at an institutional level like the MCA 21 initiative (Ministry of Company Affairs), National E-Governance Plan (NeGP) are fine examples. However, the government has been able to connect urban-centric regions of the nation, but still has left with a major national-gap as far as using ICT for the nation building is concerned. Effective and viable usage of ICT tools at panchayat, which represents the first level of government interaction for over 60% of the Indian populace, is largely missing. More than 6, 35,000 villages represented by 2, 50,000 Panchayats and more than 3, 00,000 Panchayat functionaries lack governance for development and information sharing platform to reach out to its maximum citizens whom the panchayats are accountable to. With this background, the National Internet Exchange of India (NiXI) and the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) initiated and rolled forward the concept of ‘Digital Panchayat (DP)’ programme across the nation. The objective of the project was to set an example to the government and other stakeholders how web-presence of panchayats can create enormous enthusiasm for ICT & Internet and it would break the barrier of digital divide. Basically, the concept of DP webs around a web based dynamic digital interface created for each and every Panchayat in India, giving information about particular panchayat in a two-way flow of content. The objective is to facilitate and improve panchayat functioning on day-to-day basis, through two way flow of information and content.
OBJECTIVES & GOALS
- Villages to be part of the global citizenship and link with non-resident individuals to connect with their land of domicile.
- Encourage village panchayat level data centre and e-democracy.
- Creation of fully fledged rural governance, two way information channel.
- Capacity building of Panchayat functionaries in ICT & digital media.
- Increase ICT and internet awareness at panchayat level.
- Village level digital content collection, collation and aggregation.
- Firsthand experience of panchayat people to be part of digital world and virtual identity of each panchayat on World Wide Web.
- Giving an experience of transparent panchayat level programme
- Chance for citizens to directly and publicly lodge complaints.
- Chance and hope for district, state and central level administration and governance to see what is happening at ground.
- Facilitate e-Gov platform with Government to Citizens (G2C), Business to Consumer (B2C) services etc.
DIGITAL PANCHAYAT CONTENT TREE
The portal of Digital Panchayat would act as a multipurpose information and communication platform to showcase local contents, culture, best practices, advocate local issues, e-Commerce to the villages. It serves as platform for panchayat representatives to connect with the rest of the world using a large digital data storehouse of resources available.