In a recent lecture, my teacher rightly said- “The job of Information Technology is to eliminate the middle-man and if implemented in governance, we will have tremendous growth!” Let me elaborate. IT eliminates the middleman by supporting a process and hence automating it. May it be ATMs or eBay, or the Wikipedia- IT serves as a link between the user and the resources.
However, in governance, especially in India, we terribly lack the application of IT. Railway and airway reservation system are fairly automated. Same holds good with most banks. There are even provinces where driving licenses or land records can be accessed online. All this progress has led to the elimination of the corrupt middleman. A common man need not bribe the clerk anymore to access his land records certificates. This has just started, and slowly this void is filling up. Nilekani’s project UID is a strong step towards making this happen. The biggest hurdle in this growth process is the lack of expertise staff in the governance. Just imagine, how much easier it would be for the government to implement its policies, if proper IT infrastructure is in place! Then why is it not happening?
The answer lies in the very basic mindset of students. A medico always tries to develop better tools to automate complicated surgeries but hardly finds time to think of the basic health care facilities. A mechanical engineer designs hi-speed automobiles but never gets his hands dirty in improving the standards of our age-old bullock carts. The civil engineer of my country thinks of building towers and dams but hardly heeds to building comfortable, affordable homes. We IT engineers join these MNCs and spend our lives rendering to their demands, never do we realize, how much value we can add to the basic lifestyle of the common man. Let’s not get carried away by credit cards and dollars. Our knowledge is worth more than that!