J&K, assessed for 1st time, ranks highest among UTs in national e-governance service delivery assessment

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New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir, assessed for the first time, ranked the highest among Union Territories with an overall compliance of nearly 90 per cent for national e-governance service delivery assessment (NeSDA), according to an official report on Sunday.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh will release on Monday the NeSDA 2021 Report which provides suggestions for governments to further enhance their e-Governance service delivery systems.

In the Union territories category, Jammu and Kashmir was assessed for the first time in NeSDA 2021 and scored the highest amongst all UTs for six sectors, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said in a statement.

Meghalaya and Nagaland are the leading State Portals with an overall compliance of more than 90 per cent across all assessment parameters among the northeast and hill states, it said.

Among Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir ranked the highest with an overall compliance of nearly 90 per cent, according to the report. Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh had a compliance of more than 85 per cent among the Remaining States category, it said.

According to the report, Kerala had the highest overall compliance score amongst all the States and UTs.

Among the Services Portals for North-East and Hill States, the highest-ranking states of Meghalaya and Tripura showed improvement across all six sectors compared to NeSDA 2019, the report said.

Among the Remaining States, the overall score of Tamil Nadu increased the most in 2021 compared to 2019.

Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Goa, and Odisha also improved the compliance of their Services Portals by 100 per cent.

Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan are the leading states with compliance of more than 75 per cent across all parameters for their Services Portals. The second edition of the NeSDA has been prepared covering the assessment of states, Union Territories. It focuses on Central Ministries on their effectiveness in delivering online services to citizens.

The biennial study also provides suggestions for governments to further enhance their e-Governance service delivery systems.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) had constituted the NeSDA in 2019 as part of its mandate to boost the e-government endeavours and drive digital government excellence.

NeSDA helps the respective governments improve their delivery of citizen centric services and shares best practices across the country for all States, UTs and Central Ministries to emulate.

DARPG embarked on the second edition of NeSDA study in January 2021.

The NeSDA 2021 framework was finalised after multiple consultative workshops with States, UTs and Central Ministries from March 2021 to May 2021.

The NeSDA 2021 Portal was formally launched in June 2021 to conduct the entire assessment process online. The data collection, synthesis and analysis processes spanned the next 12 months till May 2022.

Regular review meetings were held during this period to provide necessary guidance to stakeholders.

In addition to the DARPG team supported by NASSCOM and KPMG, 36 nodal officers from State and UTs and 15 nodal officers from Central Ministries came together to ensure the successful conduct of NeSDA 2021.

More than one lakh responses from across the country were reviewed to finalise the findings of NeSDA 2021 report.

The report covers services across seven sectors finance, labour and employment, education, local governance and utility services, social welfare, environment and tourism sectors.

The assessment covered 56 mandatory services for each state and UT and 27 services for the focus Central Ministries.

The second edition of NeSDA added eight State/UT level services and four Central Ministry services.

Five of the State/UT level services assessed in NeSDA 2019 are now offered through Central Ministries and hence were not considered for the 2021 assessment. The portals assessed were classified into one of two categories. State/UT/Central Ministry Portal, the designated portal of the respective government that provides a single window access to information and service links, is the first category.

These portals were assessed on four parameters, viz., accessibility, content availability, ease of use, and information security and privacy. The second category comprises of the State/UT/Central Ministry Services Portals which focus on the digital delivery of services and provide service-related information.

The Services Portals were assessed on an additional three parameters, viz., End-service Delivery, Integrated Service Delivery, and Status and Request Tracking.

To facilitate comparative assessment of the progress in e-services across the country, the assessment parameters have remained the same as in the 2019 study. NeSDA has followed the Good Governance Index 2021 grouping of the States and UTs. North-East and Hill States make up the first group while Union Territories make up the second group.

The remaining states of India have been classified into two states as Remaining States Group A and Remaining States Group B. NeSDA 2021 has shown clear progress for e-Governance services across the country.

States and UTs have strived to implement to the recommendations of NeSDA 2019 for creation of integrated State/UT Portals and enhancing the number of services provided on their services portals.

Further, governance in the times of the pandemic necessitated operationalisation of security measures such as VPNs, flexible working policies including work-from-home, and development of several new apps that brought citizens and governments closer through use of technology inter alia providing timely services at the doorstep.

Improvement in the country's e-Governance landscape may be summarised in the following key takeaways increase in e-Service Delivery, rise in use of integrated/centralized portals for delivery of e-Services, improvement across assessment parameter scores.

In NeSDA 2021, 1,400 services across all states and UTs were assessed as compared to 872 in 2019, an increase of over 60 per cent.

Seventy-four per cent respondents of the nation-wide citizen survey conducted during the study had stated that they are satisfied with the e-Services provided by the States and UTs.

The e-Services of Finance and Local Governance and Utility Services sectors were the most widely used by citizens.

The rising trend of e-Services delivery shifting from single silo departmental portals to integrated/centralised portals has resulted in higher citizen satisfaction.

The NeSDA 2021 findings demonstrate the journey of e-Services towards citizen centricity and benchmarking governance.

Governments across the country have put a stronger emphasis on integrated service delivery which has led to a greater number of e-Services being offered through integrated/centralised portals.

These portals also provide unified access to services, improving accessibility and usability.

They also provide a uniform digital experience to users, creating ease of use through intuitive navigation, uniform look and feel, improved content availability, robust information security, and privacy mechanisms.

These factors have led to increase in scores across all assessment parameters.

An overall improvement has been seen in scores across all parameters and at all levels with Information Security and Privacy being the most improved parameter across all portals. Among the Central Ministry Portals, scores have improved for four portals. Among the Central Ministry Services Portals, scores have improved for 6 portals while among States and UTs, scores have improved for 28 of the State / UT Portals and for 22 of the State / UT Services Portals.

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