Government to Fund Startups Developing eGov App. Can We Get the App Store Right First?

mgovThe government of India is set to release a dedicated fund for technology startups engaged in developing solutions pertaining to e-governance, according to a new report.

The fund will draw from Rs 700 cr set aside by the government to roll out the national e-governance plan, a leading financial daily reported yesterday citing an unnamed government official. [via]

Government’s department of Information and Technology will setup and manage the fund for a minimum period of 3 years. Center will allocate funds for developing mobile apps that help authenticate Aadhaar, to furnish documents such as life and birth certificate including applications focused on administration.

Recently, government launched an e-governance app store which has apps that can be used by various states and central government and their departments to deliver citizen services. The government has also rolled out applications for Android and Java-based phones via its store.

At present the store has nearly 116 live applications and 60 demo applications, out of which most of the apps have been developed by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). Though the store was launched in February this year, the number of downloads isn’t a lot. Only about 31,000 downloads have happened on the store so far.

Besides sucking at user interface, the app store seems to be slow and crashes time and again as one navigates through it. Data response by the store is totally dependent on multiple entries; apps offered by store are too specific. For instance, instead of having one app for Sikkim govt with various functions there are over 70 apps for the state with scattered and small features packed in each one of them.

Kerala launched m-governance services with over 90 state government departments delivering services through mobile. Kerala based startup MobME won the contract to implement the project.

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