E-Governance and Decentralisation-Study of an Indian District


  • T. Kumar Xavier School of Rural Management, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, PIN - 751024




The current era is witnessing the emergence of a new governance paradigm at the global, national and local levels. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are fundamental to these systems of governance. Decentralised governance is a need in all countries. The same set of policy imperatives are behind the drive for decentralised governance as well as the drive for e-governance. So, there is a need for understanding of how e-governance can contribute to decentralisation of power. In this paper, a framework of e-governance for facilitating decentralisation has been evolved and tested in a district of Gujarat. Here, decentralisation is understood as a combination of its different kinds, viz., deconcentration, delegation, devolution and agencification. This is an empirical study done within the local self-governance units of a district in a rural context in India.

This paper tries to measure the decentralisation of power within the governance machinery which can be facilitated by e-governance information systems. The relative empowerment of different branches of administration has been culled out. It was found that the empowerment of bureaucracy is the highest, followed by the empowerment of extra State actors. The elected representatives of the local self-governance machinery are not getting really empowered due to the e-governance process. This is a fundamental flaw in the design of these e-governance systems.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Kumar, T. (2017). E-Governance and Decentralisation-Study of an Indian District. Journal of Rural Development, 36(1), 61–82. https://doi.org/10.25175/jrd/2017/v36/i1/112702


Adamolekun, Ladipo (1991) “Promoting African Decentralisation; Summaryâ€, Public Administration & Development (1986-998), Chichester: Vol.11, Issue. 3; pp. 285-292

Bardhan, Pranab (2002), “Decentralisation of Governance and Development’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Nashville:Vol.16, Issue. 4, pp. 185-206

Bhatnagar, Subhash (2004), “E-Government – From Vision to Implementationâ€, SAGE Publications, New Delhi.

Chandhoke, Neera (2003), “Governance and the Pluralization of the State: Implications for Democratic Citizenshipâ€, Economic and Political Weekly, 38 (28).

Charag, Owais & Ahmad, S. Mufeed (2013), “Structural Overview and Analysis of EGovernance Projects Implemented in Indiaâ€, International Journal of Applied Financial Management Perspectives, Volume 2, Number 2, April-June.

Christensen, Tom and Laegreid, Per (2004), “Governmental Autonomization and Control, the Norwegian Wayâ€, Public Administration and Development.

Curtis, Tim (2008), “Finding that Grit Makes a Pearl, A Critical Re-reading of Research into Social Enterpriseâ€, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 276-290.

Conyers, Diana (1984), “De-centralization and Development– a Review of Literatureâ€, Public Administration & Development, (pre-1986); 4, 2; p. 187.

De Vellis, R.F (1991), “Scale Development: Theory and Applicationsâ€, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, cited in Netemeyer, Richard G., Bearden, William O and Sharma, Subhash., Scaling Procedures-Issues and Applications, Sage Publications (2003).

Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITY) (2012), Govt of India. [Online], Available: http://deity.gov.in/content/national-e-governance-plan [23 Oct 2013]

Fang, Zhiyuan (2002), “E-Government in Digital Era: Concept, Practice, and Developmentâ€, International Journal of ‘The Computer, The Internet and Management’, Vol. 10, No.2, pp. 1-22.

GITR (2013), “The Global Information Technology Report – Growth and Jobs in a Hyperconnected Worldâ€, World Economic Forum and INSEAD Business School, Geneva.

Gupta, M P, Kumar, Prabhat and Bhattacharya, Jaijit (2004), “Government Online Opportunities and Challengesâ€, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, p. 53.

Haynes, S, Richard, D.C., and Kubany, E.S (1995), “Content Validity in Psychological Assessment: A Functional Approach to Concepts and Methodsâ€, Psychological Assessment, 7, pp. 238-247, cited in Netemeyer, Richard G., Bearden, William O. and Sharma, Subhash, Scaling Procedures-Issues and Applications, Sage Publications (2003).

IIPA (2010), “Citizen Centric Modelâ€, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA),New Delhi. [Online], Available: http://www.iipa.org.in/upload/concept%20paper% 20for% 20website.pdf [23 Oct 2011]

John, M. S and Chathukulam, Jos (2003), “Measuring Decentralisation: The Case of Kerala (India)â€, Public Administration & Development, Chichester: Vol.23, Issue 4, October, p. 347.

Kaplan, R. M and Saccuzzo, D.P (1997), “Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications and Issuesâ€, (4th ed.), Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, cited in Netemeyer, Richard G., Bearden, William O. and Sharma, Subhash, Scaling Procedures-Issues and Applications, Sage Publications (2003).

Kochhar, Sameer & Dhanjal, Gursharan (2005), “From Governance to E-governance-a Second Look at Some of the Country’s Best Projectsâ€, Skoch Consultancy Services pvt limited, New Delhi, [Online], Available: http://www.skoch.in index.php?option= com_content&view= article&id=87&Itemid= 58 [25 Oct 2010]

Kumar,T., Mishra, Harekrishna and Mishra, Debi Prasad (2008), “Decentralisation and EGovernance in Indian Context: A Case Based Studyâ€, in Bhattacharya, Jaijit. (ed.) Critical Issues in E-Governance, Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management (GIFT) Publishers, New Delhi.

Messick, S. (1993) cited in Linn, R.L. (ed.),†Educational Measurement†(2nd ed., pp. 105-146). Phoenix, AZ: American Council on Education and the Oryx Press.

Nevo, B. (1985), “Face Validity Revisitedâ€, Journal of Educational Measurement, 22, pp. 287293, cited in Netemeyer, Richard G. Bearden, William O. and Sharma, Subhash, Scaling Procedures-Issues and Applications, Sage Publications (2003).

Nunnally, J & Bernstein, I.H (1994), “Psychometric Theory (3rd ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pollitt, Christopher, Bathgate, Karen., Caulfield, Janice, Smullen, Amanda., Talbot, Colin (2001), “Agency Fever? - Analysis of an International Policy Fashionâ€, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 3: pp. 271-290, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Prabhu, C.S.R (2004), “E-Governance - Concepts and Case Studies, Prentice Hall of India (Private) Limited, New Delhi.

Public Administration & Development (1990), “Professional Developments, Decentralisation Policies and Socio-Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Summary of Discussions at Two Roundtablesâ€, Public Administration & Development (1986-1998), Chichester: Vol. 10, Issue. 4; pp. 467-470, Oct-Dec.

Ramachandran, Vilasini (2007), “e-Dhara: Land Records Management Systemâ€, Available: http:/ /www.csi-sigegov.org/casestudies/05_e_dhara.pdf.

Rao, T.P. Rama, Rao, V. Venkata, Bhatnagar, Subhash and Satyanarayana, J (2004), “E-Governance Assessment Frameworkâ€, EAF Ver-2.0, Department of IT, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, New Delhi, Government of India, May.

[Online], Available: http://www.egovindia.org/eaf.pdf [20 June 2010]

Robinson, J.P, Shaver, P.R & Wrightsman, L.S (1991), “Criteria for Scale Selection and Evaluation’ cited in Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudesâ€, (pp. 1-15), cited in Netemeyer, Richard G., Bearden, William O. and Sharma, Subhash, Scaling Procedures-Issues and Applications, Sage Publications (2003).

Rondinelli, Dennis A (1983), “Implementing Decentralisation Programmes in Asia: a Comparative Analysis’, Public Administration & Development (pre-1986), 3, ABI/INFORM Global, p. 181, Jul-Sep.

Shah, Ajay (2006), “Improving Governance Using Large IT Systems†in Narayan, S. (ed.), Documenting Reforms: Case Studies from India, pp. 122-148, Macmillan India, New Delhi.

Shin, Roy W. & Ha, Yeon-Seob (1998), “In Search of Decentralisation and Deconcentration: Local Autonomy and Fiscal Reform in Korea’, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Boca Raton: Vol.10, Issue. 2; pp. 192-219, Summer.

Singh, Gurmeet, Pathak, R.D, Naz, Razia & Belwal, Rakesh (2010), “E-governance for Improved Public Sector Service Delivery in India, Ethiopia and Fijiâ€, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 254-275.

Spanou, Calliope (2008), “State Reform in Greece: Responding to Old and New Challenges’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 150-17.

Trochim, William M. K (2006), “Research Methodsâ€, Biztantra Publications, New Delhi.