Indian Government Announces Mobile Governance Framework [App Store, Mobile Friendly Sites, Payment Gateway and more]

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.

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