Gyandoot - An E-Government Initiative in India


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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY022
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2000-2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Gyandoot
Industry : Information Technology Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Gyandoot was the kind of project that President Clinton had in mind when he urged the Indian government to make sure its booming IT industry benefited the country's impoverished masses, not just the Western-educated elite."

- The Boston Globe1.

"I had no information about the actual market price. Brokers often dump farmers like me."

- Padma Bai, a farmer from Tirla village of Dhar district in MP2.

Introduction

In June 2000, Gyandoot3, an e-government project launched by the state of Madhya Pradesh (India) won the prestigious "Stockholm Challenge Award"4 in the 'Public service and democracy' category. The project bagged the award5 for being the best among the 600 e-government projects from all over the world.

Gyandoot was evaluated on the basis of five basic criteria - User Need, Innovation, Accessibility, Transferability and Sustainability (Refer Exhibit I). Gyandoot was judged as the best e-government project due to its social, economic and cultural relevance and its immense potential to improve the society in which it functioned.

The jury described it as "a unique government-to-citizen Intranet project with numerous benefits to the region, including a people-based self-reliant sustainable strategy. 'Gyandoot' is recognized as a breakthrough in e-government, demonstrating a paradigm shift, which gives marginalized tribal citizens their first ever chance to access knowledge, with minimum investment." The project, which became operational from January 2000, was a classic example of how IT could be used for the benefit of common people, especially those living in rural areas and those who were deprived of the facilities available in urban cities and metros.

The project aimed (Refer Exhibit II) to find low-cost ways of overcoming the problems created due to the state's poor infrastructure and attempted to connect remote rural areas with major markets and distant government offices. Senior officials in the panchayats of the Dhar district of MP in collaboration with the state government decided to connect all the villages through a network of computers. One of the major problems faced by the villagers of Dhar district was the lack of correct and timely information as a result of which, they did not get adequate returns for their efforts. After the implementation of the project, all the relevant information and few government related services required by the villagers were made available at the click of a mouse.

Excerpts >>


1]  In an article titled, "Technological Development India Using Computers to Improve Conditions in Rural Areas," dated June 05, 2000 by Lloyd Marion, Correspondent, The Boston Globe.

2]  In an article titled, "Down to Earth" in Science and Environment Fortnightly dated February 15, 2001.

3]  Gyandoot means messenger of knowledge.

4]  The award aimed at identifying and rewarding the innovative use of IT in areas including citizen empowerment, education, healthcare, economic development and environment. Its objective was to encourage the participation of IT projects from all over the world and to help people share knowledge and learn from accomplishments of others. A jury, consisting of experts in their fields evaluates the projects. As a part of this award, the winning team gets a trophy along with a certificate of excellence, which helps in getting more international recognition.

5]  Gyandoot was also awarded CSI-TCS National IT award for the best IT usage, instituted by the Computer Society of India for the year 2000.






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