As part of National e-governance plan, Indian government has announced m-Governance framework that aims to utilize the massive reach of mobile phones and harness the potential of mobile applications to enable easy and round-the-clock access to public services, especially in the rural areas.
The following are the main measures laid down by government:
- 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.
To ensure the adoption and implementation of the framework in a time-bound manner, the government will develop Mobile Services Delivery Gateway (MSDG), i.e. the the core infrastructure for enabling the availability of public services through mobile devices. This will be developed and maintained by an appropriate agency within DIT. MSDG is proposed to be used as a shared infrastructure by the Central and State Government Departments and Agencies at nominal costs for delivering public services through mobile devices
To ensure successful implementation of the platform with requisite levels of security and redundancy, following actions will be taken:
a) End User Interface: End-user devices include landline phones, mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets, and laptops with wireless infrastructure. Mobile applications developed shall take into consideration appropriately the wireless-device interface issues, such as bandwidth limitations, micro-browser and micro-screen restrictions, memory and storage capacities, usability, etc.
b) Content for Mobile Services: Due to lower-bandwidth and smaller-screen characteristics of mobile devices, successful development and deployment of mGovernance will require development of separate mobile-ready content. Similarly, to meet the needs of all the potential users, the applications will need to be developed Framework for Mobile Governance in the relevant local languages for the various channels of delivery. Open standards and open source software, to the extent possible, will be used to ensure interoperability and affordability of the content and applications developed.
c) Mobile Applications (Apps) Store: A mobile applications (m-apps) store will be created to facilitate the process of development and deployment of suitable applications for delivery of public services through mobile devices. The m-apps store shall be integrated with the MSDG and it shall use the MSDG infrastructure for deployment of such applications. It is proposed that the store will be based upon service oriented architecture and cloud based technologies using open standards as far as practicable. The open platform will be developed and deployed in conjunction with the MSDG for making the additional value added services available to the users irrespective of the device or network operator used by them.
d) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Value-Added Services (VAS) providers: MSDG shall offer suitable APIs to VAS providers with appropriate terms and conditions to ensure interoperability and compliance with standards for development of applications for delivery of public services.
e) Mobile-Based Electronic Authentication of Users: For electronic authentication of users for mobile-based public services, MSDG shall incorporate suitable mechanisms including Aadhaar-based authentication. This will also help in ensuring appropriate privacy and confidentiality of data and transactions.
f) Payment Gateway: MSDG shall also incorporate an integrated mobile payment gateway to enable users to pay for the public services electronically.
g) Participation of Departments: The Government Departments and Agencies both at the Central and State levels will be encouraged to offer their mobile-based public services through the MSDG to avoid duplication of infrastructure.