Technology is touching everything that surrounds us including governance methods. State is not that indifferent in adapting these techniques.
IoT basically can be understood as a system of thousands of devices connected to each other via an internet based common system which works on the cloud and allows users to access and create data from everywhere, a lot of such methods are being used in governance of the citizens.
Good governance is participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law, IoT is just making it efficient and convenient.
Let’s have a look at how IoT plays a crucial role in Governance.
IOT refers to the abundance of physical devices which surround us everyday like smartphones, computers, tablets etc. very well equipped with softwares of storing, collecting, processing and sending data for various purposes across the devices through a wireless unseen network.
In simpler terms this can be understood as the device is being connected to the internet and has sensors that transmit data to the system where it can be monitored, it can be considered an IoT projection.
This is widely applied and is used in a lot of sectors pertaining to their specific usage and requirement.
Governance comprises the functions that take place in a state by the government in order to ‘govern’ its citizens. This is facilitated by laws, rules and regulation, updating and involving the citizen participation in the government decisions and working.
When we speak of governance we are speaking of the administrative, formal and procedural aspects of cause and effects of the decision making and working in the government which will be directly related to the citizens in various aspects.
There are various aspects of governance, like decision making, reinforcement of laws, checking on the existing systems, maintaining healthcare, education etc are all the parts of a governance procedure in one way or the other.
All of these governing processes take place at multiple levels based on their arena of work and authority.
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For various purposes, the governments and the processes hence involved are growing technologically and digitally to make the administration smooth.
IOT can be used for governance in various ways in order to fulfil their duties and regards concerning the citizen.
Healthcare, education, safety, banking are all the essential administration components that are using iot technological systems like web based and cloud based systems, wireless networks, suitable and subjectively curated softwares to provide their services to the citizens in a convenient way.
Digital India is one such campaign launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015 in order to make the government's services available to its citizens electronically. Under this program a lot of initiatives are being put forward like the National e-Governance Plan, UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) to carry out the services digitally.
In a way this is the exact representation of how it is being implemented and used to carry out various governance functions.
In the form of aforementioned ways, the government is launching the application for various purposes which can simply be accessed by using a smartphone and internet and from where they can educate the citizens about prevailing benefits and schemes, registrations for the same and other essential governmental services.
There are various ways in which the iot is being used in governance which come with their selective purposes. Let’s have a look at them:
Iot uses in Governance
Healthcare is a crucial responsibility of the government, the healthier and the finer the population will be it will be directly or indirectly proportional to the national growth.
In governance the iot tools are being used by the government to keep a track record of the registered users and not to mention the authorities involved strictly appeals to the citizens to get themselves registered on the platforms.
IoT enables efficient governance in such situations by enabling the users have real time updates of the situation via being connected to a central user interface which is used to both communicate, update and collect data from them for the real time update.
This can also be used the other way round to update the requirement of the population and generate the data of backward areas with low healthcare facilities so that they can be taken care of.
For example: As a tool to prevent the population from the covid pandemic and safely take the corrective measures while enabling them to get the real time and latest updates Aarogya Setu app was launched by the government.
This is a contact tracing (bluetooth based mechanism which works by taking the application and health details of any person nearby) and self assessment and also had a feature which updated the details of current cases and decreased cases due to the disease.
This updated the details of the covid 19 hotspots nearby which were categorized as zones like red, green and orange.
Not just this but the application also provided for nearby available covid testing laboratory for those who needed it.
Currently this application is displaying a tab of another web initiative by the government called Cowin which is a vaccine slot booking for various age groups.
This enables the population to find the nearest available medical center for the vaccine as well as find the appropriate slot based on date and timing with real time availability and keeps a profile wise record of the dosages of the vaccination.
Also the Delhi government's Delhi Fights Corona application is also making the best usage if iot available to provide with the real time availability of applications, oxygen, ventilators in this time where all the hospitals are flooded with such cases.
Hence, healthcare is a sector, digitalising which the smooth governance in this respect is being taken care of , the software which works, big data which will be in turn used by the government to say, manage the vaccine supply chain or beds during the pandemic and sending real time updates to the population is all the product of internet of things.
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Education is another factor of successful governance which is being taken care of using the iot. Smart classrooms, smart boards, online study material, which can be accessed from anywhere and web based teaching methods for distance learners are common things to the people currently.
Internet and smart devices are making it possible for the schools and teachers to keep a progress record of the children digitally so that all of it can be tracked at once.
Education is a vital component, abiding with such a concept there are several portals open which are successfully operating via a centralised web system making education accessible as per one’s convenience.
For Example: e-pathshala is one such application with downloadable e-books for the NCERT syllabus for all and accessible throughout the devices.
CBSE Saransh is an application used by the parents and the teachers to It to analyse students' performance in order to take remedial measures, this is somehow making the parents who cannot make it to the children's school keep a track record just by using their smartphones.
Startup India App enables the users to get the updates on startup from the authorities end so that they can understand the favourable time for their startup and access all the provided benefits and services.
National Scholarship Portal is one such portal which aims at making the scholarship process easy, the application, sanctions and details of the beneficiary to understand and clear the verification processes etc.
There are several education based applications, smart class combined features and portals working solely using IoT and advanced analytics making the governance efficient.
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Icons of Governance portals
The government expenditure in the building of roads and bridges, power grids, water supply lines, gas supply, rail lines, airports, etc is huge and inevitable. Any major disruption and damage can not only affect the lives of the civilians but can cause a lot of long term loss.
To cater to these the governance systems can ensure to use sensors and alarm detectors which can alert the systems in the case of some defect. Such an IOT based system with proper software can help in enabling the required a;ert and monitoring with a track record of previous maintenance and can save a lot of disturbance.
The same system of monitoring and prevention can be used to keep a record of the areas which are disaster prone. IOT can help in providing reliable solutions in disaster management for the governance in accordance with human lives.
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For example: areas which are prone to forest fires can have temperature based a;erting systems, flood prone areas can issue alerts based on the water rise data made available to them via the devices and machines.
In the case of man made disasters as well, proper help can be called for if the systems are made handy and quick. IOT has the potential to do all of this.
Weather management tools, satellite monitoring are prevalent, there are authorities and governance departments which are web based and are used to provide travel directory, safety guidelines and emergency contacts to work for the safety of the population concerned.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is a governing body which focuses on building a safer and disaster resilient India.
Iot and advanced analytics can help in making the governance efficient for the population via keeping a track of the services and benefits provided as well as keeping the track of the beneficiaries.
There are a lot of essential services and documents needed by the citizens to avail various benefits schemes in which they categorize and register for them.
There are web based systems by the government to digitally provide the documents like ration card , domicile certificate, caste certificate, aadhar card, driving licence, pan card etc.
These systems just not make it convenient for both the parties involved but as well as these provide an economical and accessible solution from literally anywhere, with no record lost.
In some aspects of governance there are document verification processes taking place, online kyc etc. are going digital with the use of IOT systems. In banking, the adaption to online banking has made it easier for people to have an integrated record of the transactions across all the platforms with a user id and a password.
There are smart cameras on the road connected to a system which can challan for overspeeding and other road defaults by the people, services like online FIR (First Information Report) and cybercrime surveillance are not the aspects which are just paving way for IOT in law enforcing as well but also making it omnipresent.
For example Web-based systems like e-district by Delhi Government is a plan to enable door-to-door services for the citizens and solely this operates using the internet and an integrated system.
My Gov is another web-based platform that aims to integrate the citizens in governance through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach.
PDS Portal of India is intended to be one-stop information for the Public Distribution System (PDS) which is a direct concern of the population.
There is a considerable role that IOT has to play in governance, all the aspects of governance are seeking to go online and adapt to such techniques pertaining to its efficacy. IOT has widened the scope of governance.
Centre of Excellence on Internet of Things has planned for rapid adoption of IoT technology and encourage a new growth strategy understanding the benefits that IOT can bring in governance like transport system, parking, electricity, waste management, water management, and women’s safety to create smart cities, smart health services, and even agriculture and farmers’ education.
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