Kiran Bedi, Parminder Jeet Singh, and Sandeep Srivastava. Governance @ Net: New Governance Opportunities for India. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2001. 374 pages. Paperback. Indian Rs 295.00.

Ilhan Niaz


Considering that India faces an acute shortage of electricity,
has a poor telephone network, an extremely low level of human
development, and an even lower rate of computer ownership (4.5 per
thousand), it is premature to fantasise about the benefits of electronic
government. Fantasising, however, is precisely what the three authors of
Governance @ Net: New Governance Opportunities for India engage in. The
argument is that by incorporating computer technology into governance
structures the entire system can be made more efficient. It is pointed
out, correctly, that India’s main problem lies with allocating resources
efficiently. Government initiatives in social welfare and food
distribution do not touch their targets in an effective or meaningful
manner. People have to go through various ordeals when paying bills,
posting income tax returns, and registering complaints.

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