Nationhood, Technology and the Roots of Computer-Assisted Governance in India, 1880-1980

Dr. Ramesh Subramanian
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The basic premise of this paper is that studies of e-governance should include a much wider focus than the generally accepted definition of e-governance, i.e. the "delivery of government services and information to the public using electronic means." While this definition offers a good basis for studying e-governance, it does not explicitly address wider issues such as the social, cultural, psychological, historical and political background which eventually affect e-governance. This paper describes the results of a study that considers some of these aspects in trying to understand e-governance in an emerging economy. The study considers India's current prowess in software and computing technologies and its facility in e-governance from a historical perspective that includes the concept of Nationhood, technological self-reliance and IT-supported systems for policy formulation and development. This is a qualitative, historical study which tries to identify and understand the strong roots and gradual evolution of computer-assisted governance in India. The study shows that India's current position is a result of almost one hundred years of sustained efforts by its political leaders and the intelligentsia to build the foundations of technology-infrastructure to achieve self-reliance.

Keywords: History, e-Governance, e-Government, Technology Development, National Development, Governmental Policy, Computing, Computer-assisted Governance
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Nationhood, Technology and the Roots of Computer-Assisted Governance in India, 1880-1980

Dr. Ramesh Subramanian

Professor of Computer Information Systems, School of Business, Quinnipiac University

Ramesh Subramanian has been a Professor of Computer Information Systems at the School of Business, Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, USA since July 2002, where he holds the Gabriel Ferrucci Endowed Professorship Dr Subramanian received his Ph.D. (1992) in Computer Information Systems and MBA (1990) from Rutgers University, NJ. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (1984) from XLRI - Center for Management Studies, Jamshedpur, India, and a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (1980) from Madras University, India. Prior to his current appointment, Dr Subramanian has held the following positions: Senior Software Engineer at IBM's Advanced Technology Lab (Southbury, CT); Associate Professor of MIS (tenured) at the College of Business and Public Policy - University of Alaska, Anchorage; Instructor of Computer Science at the Computer Science Department, Rutgers University, NJ; Member of the Technical Staff - Database Research District at Bell Communications Research, Morristown, NJ. Dr Subramanian has also served as consultant to BP Exploration, Alaska, and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Alaska. Dr Subramanian's current interests include Information Systems Strategy, IT history, philosophical underpinnings of IT, Information Systems Security, E-commerce, Peer-to-Peer networking and resource sharing and IT and Society.

Ref: T05P0284