M-governance initiative : Shortcodes allotted for mobile governance purpose

To boost National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), Government of India earlier announced mobile governance framework that aims to enable mobile phone devices and applications for delivery of public information and services to citizens and businesses.

According to a circular released by Department of Information Technology (link/pdf), government is developing a cloud based Mobile Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG) service. Essentially, MSDG aims to put in place government’s wide shared infrastructure and services to enable rapid development, mainstreaming and deployment of  m-Governance services.

Key details of Indian government’s m-governance framework

  • Government has obtained short codes 51969 and 166 from Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for mobile-governance purposes.
  • Web sites of all Government Departments and Agencies shall be made mobile-compliant, using the “One Web” approach.
  • Open standards shall be adopted for mobile applications for ensuring the interoperability of applications across various operating systems and devices as per the Government Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance.
  • Uniform/ single pre-designated numbers (long and short codes) shall be used for mobile-based services to ensure convenience.
  • All Government Departments and Agencies shall develop and deploy mobile applications for providing all their public services through mobile devices to the extent feasible on the mobile platform. They shall also specify the service levels for such services.

MSDG will enhance interoperability across various  public services as well as reduce the total cost of operation of m-Governance services by providing a common pool of resources aggregating the demand for communication and e?Governance services, and act as a platform for various Government Departments and Agencies to test, rapidly deploy, and easily maintain m-Governance services across the country.

With inclusion of MSDG, Government eyes to ensure information and service available to every citizen, irrespective of the device or the browser they are using. This implies that all Government’s websites should be compliant with mobile devices to enable users of such devices to access the same information and services (to the extent possible) as available over the web.

The framework aims to create unique infrastructure as well as application development  ecosystem for m-Governance in the country. Earlier, government launched its “m-Governance” applications for Android and Java based phones through its app store (read: Indian government has an app store. We wish it was more). Currently,  the app store has nearly 26 live applications and 60 demo applications.

Recommended Read: Indian government to spend $6.9 bn on Technology in 2013.

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