I have spent most of Sunday trying to be a good citizen of Pune. I wrote to a newspaper about a few issues, I used the Pune Municipal Corporations e-governance site http://www.egovpmc.com to compain / suggest about a few other ones to the governing body and also tracked my earlier suggestion to the state government http://maharashtra.gov.in.
Most developing nations like India are attempting to implement e-governance however there’s still a long way to go. India might have the best IT talent in the world but unfortunately that talent is more available to the west than it is to India. Most govt. sites are rather crude as they are generally created and managed by the B grade of IT in India. Corruption, inefficiency and many other factors contribute to why private companies generally don’t want anything to do with govt. affairs. So it seems that most govt. websites end up either being created and maintained by some inefficient and outdated IT department or by some company that ‘managed’ to get the project. However there are exceptions. The Indian Railways for example is as sarkari’ a body as can be and yet they have a super online train tracking and reservation system at http://indianrail.gov.in. Millions of people use this site everyday and although it doesn’t look good and irritates you with a million popups, it does work well. Things will change as IT slowly trickles down to the millions in India. As of today maybe 2 % of Indians care about computers, internet and such stuff. For the rest food, water and shelter is all that matters. A long way to go, a lot of things to be done.