Mobiles, as we all know have become an integral part of our lifestyle. They are making us ‘Smart’, another way to put it as ‘Smartphones’. With ever-growing market & technology advancements mobiles have & are seeing an unprecedented growth, changing the way we communicate & use technology. “App” is The Buzzword today.
I have kept this post India-centric but the idea can be extended to any Nation!
Smartphone Statistics – India
As per the study by networking solutions giant Cisco – India, the second largest smartphone market globally, is expected to witness a many-fold growth in the number of smartphones to over 650 million in the next three years (2016-2019).
India is going through a mobile revolution with smartphones now outnumbering PCs and desktops. From 200 million internet users in 2013 to over 500 million internet users by 2017 — including 314 million mobile internet users — the growth story of mobile internet in India is on the upsurge. Increased internet enabled device penetration, decreasing handset prices and data plans tariffs are helping create a suitable environment for a rapid growth of mobile internet in India, with rural India set to take the lead.
Every now & then I see people cribbing about the sorry state of Indian economy. Corruption, Reservations, Public Education system, Healthcare, Inflation, Infrastructure, Tax structure, Agricultural & Manufacturing industry, Employment, Women’s safety, Startup regulations – to name a few – are one among the many pressing challenges facing India. And every other citizen has a power-advice, opinion & feedback to share. But most of them are lost in crowd – In a country of 1, 307,332, xxx people, there is no ‘Voice’!
Today, every other enterprise is “Going mobile”. Enterprise mobility enables organizations to leverage contextual data and engage with their customers more effectively and establish a strong brand identity.
Extending the same concept to Governance, why can’t we build a government-backed Mobile App to engage general public? What if Government formulates its strategies focused on citizen’s personas, feedback, discomfort, thought-process and their intent? Instead of a bunch of party people running the nation, wouldn’t it be great if citizens too are involved, real-time? What if ‘Voting’ is not just a once-in-5-year phenomenon but a continuous driving force for a nation’s growth? Yeah! A pioneer idea to change the way a Nation is governed – for betterment!
‘The Nation’ Votes – OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people
The idea is to release ‘The Nation’ Votes government-backed Mobile App to reach its citizens for opinion & feedback. Yeah! I know it won’t work with billions of people involved. But what if it’s ‘Opinion & Feedback’ centric instead of User base? ‘Information’ is the currency of Democracy. Confused? Let me explain some of its salient features…
- Registration based on User’s Mobile number (just like WhatsApp), limiting the Users to specific country code (+91 in case of India) + avoiding misuse (due to fear of identification)
- Ability to select the Demography – Centre or State area (India or different states)
- Symbol against each demographic header to display the current ruling party
- Section to submit a pressing challenge or issue (like Inflation, Corruption, Pollution, Infrastructure, etc.)
- Submit an Idea / Opinion to counter above challenges faced in day-to-day life (Base reservations on just Income/Handicapped/Defense, Online portal to apply/receive all government-issued documents, Relax policy structure for Agriculture & Manufacturing startups, Build city-infrastructure plan, Strict law enforcement for crime against women/children, etc.)
- Central or State Government’s office can post the schemes, policies & initiatives taken with respect to above central / state challenges
- A separate section to list ‘All Government Initiatives’ irrespective of listed challenges
- The most important “Voting” button – for people to vote on above four categories (Challenge, Idea & Government Initiatives)
- Majority wins – Show results based on the Votes
- Ability to remove submissions with redundant keywords within each demography & only keeping the first submitted entry (a must to avoid duplicate entries)
- Data clean-up – Clear all the votes at year-end to start afresh, Archive all the data every election cycle
- Year-end & Election-cycle reports of top 10 Challenges, Ideas & Initiatives for each demography
- If required, option to start & end Voting on specific dates
- IF the App idea succeeds, a Service can be started for non-Smartphone populace to get, post & vote via general messages (SMS)
If nothing else, this App could provide upfront challenges & popular ideas to the Government as the ‘Voice‘ of the Nation. Once live, the App would evolve based on the usage & feedback – a potential candidate to dominate the M-Governance segment. If you can think of any other salient feature – please feel free to add in the comments section and help improve the App Idea!
Why ‘Mobile App’?
Many of you might think of the alternate – a Website. I am specifically in favor of the App because of its reach & frequent use. We forget a Website after few visits – unless it’s a Mobile Native App residing on my phone which I use every single day. A Cross-Platform, cross-device and cross-region compatible Native App could help in gathering ‘Voters’ and in rendering services possibly leading to governance efficiency.
About India’s e-Governance Plan
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of Indian Government, formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) on May 18′ 2006, seeks to lay the foundation and provide the impetus for long-term growth of e-Governance within the country – creation of the right governance and institutional mechanisms, setting up the core infrastructure and policies and implementation of a number of Mission Mode Projects at the Center, State and integrated service levels.
The vision: “Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”
Democracy means nothing if People are not able to work the Democracy for the Common Good. I hope someone worthy or capable is reading this post right now & gives it a try! Enough thinking & cribbing – it’s time to change the way our Nation is truly governed – OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people! What’s best than applying the golden rule “First things First” to the governance model.
I would love to read any feedback, criticism, concern, ideas, opinion, and thoughts on this post / App idea. Feel free to add it in the comments section below!