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The Evolving Landscape of E-Service Delivery in India

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The Secretary of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), V. Srinivas, recently highlighted how the e-service delivery horizon has broadened across the country in recent years. According to the National E-Governance Service Delivery (NeSDA) Way Forward report from November 2023, states and union territories have implemented 1,574 mandatory e-services. This is a significant increase from the 872 services documented in the NeSDA 2019 report.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

Moreover, the November report revealed a substantial increase in the total number of e-services, with 16,088 reported compared to 11,614 in April. Srinivas was speaking at a collaborative discussion event conducted by DARPG, focusing on e-governance initiatives, e-commerce, and emerging technologies. It aimed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge among key players in the fields.

He emphasised the shift in focus by states and union territories towards unified service portals, serving as a one-stop destination for accessing e-services. He pointed out that several states had already attained a 100% saturation level in this regard.

At the event, experts specialising in the e-governance strategy domain provided insights into the accomplishments, evolving landscape, and future trajectory of both e-governance and e-commerce. This encompassed discussions on emerging technologies, accompanied by the presentation of global best practice case studies for reference and learning. It was attended by 15 domain experts and representatives from prominent organisations, in addition to officials from DARPG.

Industry sector leaders discussed the importance of AI and inclusivity in e-services, advocating for the use of GenAI and the establishment of a responsible AI framework. Another expert spoke about how GenAI could facilitate personalised experiences, optimise delivery, and empower decision-making through innovative solutions.

The session outlined a comprehensive roadmap for the future, with a focus on the following key areas:

  • Promoting universalised face authentication processes to streamline service delivery.
  • Integrating platforms such as Bhashini and Service Plus into e-governance initiatives.
  • Expanding mandatory e-services to over 160.
  • Prioritising e-office analytics and bolstering cybersecurity measures.
  • Harnessing the power of AI in grievance redressal mechanisms.
  • Catering to families’ needs as a unit through the strategic use of technology.
  • Focusing efforts on advancing e-commerce initiatives.
  • Establishing a robust media outreach strategy for disseminating best practices.
  • Collaborating closely with state and union territory governments.
  • Emphasising the need for hackathons to further learn and disseminate best practices in the realm of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI).

Furthermore, the participants engaged in discussions regarding the anticipated trajectory of AI in the future, addressing emerging trends and the challenges that governments are likely to encounter in relation to AI. In the context of the e-commerce sector, there was a specific emphasis on constructing an integrated service delivery platform using a life-cycle approach. The conversation also underscored the importance of Information Standardisation Protocols and the necessity to concentrate on economic progress and outcomes by building an Expenditure Framework.

In November, to enhance the export potential of e-commerce in India, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), partnered with several e-commerce players, capitalising on the Districts as Export Hubs programme. DGFT signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a multinational technology company specialising in e-commerce, cloud computing, online advertising, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

This initiative aims to connect local producers, even in far-flung regions in the country, with global supply chains. It will empower exporters and MSMEs, contributing to the international sale of their ‘Made in India’ products to customers worldwide. As part of the MoU, 20 districts have been identified for capacity-building and handholding sessions.


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