Bharat.com: Smart nation building in India through geospatial portals and e-governance

Authors: Rina Ghose*, Department of Geography
Topics: Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Geospatial portal, e-governance, smart city
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8222, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Smart city as a planning strategy is increasingly embraced in developing countries facing rapid urbanization, to better manage their infrastructures and resources. The goal of a smart city is to create a harmonious relationship between the city and its inhabitants, based on three key pillars: earth environment, economic development and social equity. ICTs are a key driving force behind smart city initiatives, and e-governance strategies are adopted for improved, simplified, transparent and citizen-centric governance. Geospatial data and technologies critically shape e-governance, as ‘spatial intelligence’ is crucial to decision making and information sharing activities. Such ideas have led India to enact the National e-Governance Plan in 2006 for improved service delivery and transparency to citizens. National level projects such as Aadhar, PayGov, JanDhan Yojana, eKranti, Gyandoot, Warana, Rajnidhi have faced mixed success. Similarly, local government administrators in Karnataka, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Thane, Surat have implemented e-governance projects, with mixed outcomes. Most recently, the Digital India program has been launched with a National GIS vision to create “a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy”, with an emphasis on citizen participation at both national and local scales. This paper critically examines (i) the goals of India’s GIS based e-governance (ii) the role of the state in its implementation (iii) usability evaluation of key geospatial portals (Bhuvan, Bharat Maps) in advancing citizen participation. Our findings provide insights into the complexities that shape India’s digital empowerment efforts.

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