Citizens' Issues
India calls itself an IT giant. But the government does not believe in email

Many email IDs on various government websites are non-functional. So how can the public contact these entities via the Internet, when this is the age of ‘e-governance’?

We are proud to call ourselves a software giant. There is no need to write in length on the IT giants making 'waves' across the world. But why has the government not put its own e-house in order?  

A Moneylife reader, KG Gupta, has written in to us on a number of non-functional e-mail IDs sported by various government and quasi-government websites.

Here's what Mr Gupta has to say: "Many email IDs displayed on various websites are non-functional and the general public cannot contact the relevant offices and/or hope to be heard by making the use of technology.

"The general public is forced to visit (the) respective offices along with all original (documents) and photocopies and have to waste a lot of valuable time in pleading before bureaucrats. Is the use of technology only one-sided? Or is it just a fad?"

Mr Gupta had written several emails to various senior officials of MAHADISCOM (the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd), on various issues, but all those messages have bounced back. Moneylife has in its possession the emails that Mr Gupta had sent out.

He has also written mails to The New India Assurance Co Ltd on the e-mail IDs indicated on its website. Mr Gupta says, these messages "are bouncing back with the remarks (indicating) invalid IDs." The rot is deep.

Mr Gupta has tried to send mail to the Thane Collector and the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation ( He says that all these websites are just "showpieces." He rightfully asks, "Isn't this wastage of public money?"

The issues he has raised range from bills not being received, disconnection of electricity connections—the whole gamut of issues that our 'common' man faces. The messages have been forwarded to Moneylife, and they contain every possible detail that these hallowed entities need. If a net-savvy urban resident cannot get through via the Web to these places, just imagine the plight that every citizen of this country has to go through when they have to face our omnipresent—and somnolent—bureaucracy.  

MAHADISCOM even has a section on the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Need we add anything more?

In fact, in a response to Moneylife's article on transparency in public organisations, (CIC says pulling out CBI from scope of RTI Act is a violation of the law itself ), reader Kris Dev had to say this: "All actions of all individuals and organisations including government organisations must be transparent to (the) public. This can be ensured only if all information is made electronic. Information storage must be controlled by the individual similar to a bank locker. But if any citizen or organisation(s) has doubt(s) on the genuineness of any action, the same can be challenged and the concerned must hold themselves accountable to make transparent the details."

Can we expect an email from any of the government entities to this article? Perish the thought.



Aurobindo Banerjee

5 years ago

Thank you for this well-written article highlighting a very crucial aspect of poor governance culture. The governments, at the centre and the states, and the various arms of governance (like the municipalities, municipal corporations, various government authorities dealing with issue of election cards, ration cards, etc.,), government health scheme doctors/hospitals (CGHS being a notable defaulters), police authorities, and the like are not only reluctant to clearly notify their e-mail addresses in their correspondence, they even refuse to disclose the same even if specifically requested for the information. It is suggestive that the RTI activists are also not much bothered about this deficit in governance. And, even if one is able to reach the concerned authorities through an e-mail link, the mails are never responded to. In the case of West Bengal government, for example, most of the e-mail links of the authorities are non-functioning/bogus and almost none of the top district authorities even has any email address at all. The advantage of this glaring disregard for the rights of the citizens by the government of the country is reaped by the huge corporates, mostly MNCs, who cannot be contacted at any cost through an email. Not many consumers' associations are also concerned about this. As a result, despite RTI Act and the publicity given to the same, people's right to access any government authority through an email is denied.This article deserves to be widely circulated among all the ministers and bureaucrats all over the country, though the ruling parties will never dare annoy them by making it compulsory to notify the websites of all govrnment outfits and email contact addresses of all government officers known as "gazetted".


5 years ago

Almost ALL government departments and agencies and most Indian institutions and companies have a web presence, in keeping with the times. None of them however cares much about proper use or responsiveness, because the culture is of Tokenism, "Dikhava" and "Chalta Hai". With a few notable exceptions, none of the sites is up-to-date and none is geared for responding to emails. Some of them have automated responses, but that's the end of it. The entire e-governance exercise is a colossal waste of public funds, because there's no accountability and no performance measures in government. Governance has become entirely about managing and manipulating public perception. Since only a fraction of Indians use the internet and email, they are non-entities, not worthy of being called "public".

Shadi Katyal

5 years ago

Sorry folks but we have to grow up and face the naked truth that whatever we might think of our nation and ourselves, we still arre far behind the 21st century. We can shout being the biggest this or that but in reality we are unwilling to accept our own drawbacks of laziness.The GOI and many companies have these mail addresses to show off the world that the party in question is with the times.
The writer also failed to mention the failure of power or lack of it.We still have 10th century infrastructure and we dream of being the biggest and the best. Is this why most of IT firms are moving to CHINA.?
We also are hands tied with all kinds of Rules and Regulations promulgated by those who has no knowledge of IT but being a BABU can dictate and ruin the industry if not properly awarded some financial reward.
We have to restart and rethink to be more than just a dot joiner.
Why hs the writer failed to mention all the so called innovations and any patents????


5 years ago

I agree. I had also sent multiple emails to Mumbai Municipal corp but they never read/respond. Same goes for MP/MLAs.
I spoke to Mumbai Traffic commissioner of my email complaints. I was told below process by TCP :-
1. Post sending email, I have to call TCP HQs & inform PRO of my email.
2. PRO reads email & then take a printout for Commissioner.
3. Commisoner reads email & write his notes/instructions.
4. This is then xeroxed & sent to relevant Traffic chowkie by internal post.
5. Traffic chowkie reads the mail & then send me a response in marathi - hand delivered by a traffic constable.
6. Entire cycle takes minimum 2 months.
What a waste of email system.
This is our India....

Rajesh Bahl promoted to chief operating officer of Eros Digital

Rajesh Bahl will oversee the development plans of the growing Eros Digital and new media arm of Eros International

Eros International Media Ltd, India's largest integrated film studio, has announced the promotion of Rajesh Bahl as chief operating officer of Eros Digital, a newly formed division of Eros, with effect from 1st June.

In his new role, Bahl will oversee the development plans of the rapidly growing digital and new media arm of Eros International. Bahl previously led the digital efforts as chief digital officer of Eros India since his appointment in March 2010. As COO, Bahl will report into Ricky Ghai, CEO of Eros Digital.

Rajesh Bahl said, "I look forward to launching several exciting new digital services for both the Indian market and the global diaspora."

Bahl has close to 14 years of experience in the media & entertainment industry and has held senior positions in Star India, a fully owned subsidiary of News Corporation, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.


Food inflation at 7.61% for week ended 25th June, lowest in seven weeks

Vegetables, pulses cheaper, but fruits and onions costlier; fuel inflation stays high

New Delhi: Food inflation dropped to 7.61% for the week ended 25th June on cheaper vegetables, pulses and potatoes, the government said on Thursday. That's the lowest in seven weeks.

In the previous week food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was at 7.78%. It was at 20% in the comparable period a year ago.

The fuel price index was at 12.67% in the week to 25th June, against 12.98% in the previous week.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested that headline inflation over the next few months would be driven more by high global commodity prices, rather than prices of food items, as was the case in 2010, PTI reports.

According to data released by the government today, pulses were more than 9% cheaper year-on-year during the period under review. Prices of vegetables also came down by 8.74% and potatoes were 2.13% cheaper on an annual basis.

But the prices of other food items remained high during the week. Fruits were 22.75% more expensive, and the cost of onions was higher by 21.24% year-on-year. Eggs, meat and fish prices were up by 10.12% and cereals by 4.26%. Milk was 12.10% costlier on an annual basis.

The latest numbers on the rate of price rise of food items are the lowest since the week ended 7th May when food inflation was at 7.47%. Headline inflation in May was at 9.06%. Only yesterday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee cautioned against the "suppressed component" of inflation.

"There is a significant suppressed component of inflation as the increase in international crude oil prices has not been passed on completely despite increase in domestic administered oil prices effected in June 2010 and June 2011," he said.

Inflation in overall primary articles stood at 11.56% for the week ended 25th June, down from 11.84% in the previous week. Primary articles have a share of over 20% in the WPI basket.

The rate of increase in prices of non-food primary items stood at 17.69%, lower from the 17.91% in the previous week. However, the hike in the prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene announced by the government on 24th June is not reflected in these numbers. The exception was LPG, which became dearer by 14.58%. The inflation index for LPG stood at 11.31% during the last few weeks.

(Reuters) - The food price index rose 7.61 percent and the fuel price index climbed 12.67 percent in the year to June 25, government data showed on Thursday.

In the previous week, annual food and fuel inflation stood at 7.78 percent and 12.98 percent respectively.

The primary articles price index was up 11.56 percent, compared with an annual rise of 11.84 percent a week earlier.

India's central bank raised key interest rate last month for the 10th time since March 2010 to combat sticky inflation, currently hovering above 9 percent, and signalled more increases to come even as growth in Asia's third-largest economy is slowing down.


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