Leading up to the Delhi Elections, the fledgling Aam Admi Party has released a large number of manifestos – supposedly, one for each constituency in, and one giving an overview of its overall plan. Not all manifestos are linked on their website, so on the basis of the ones we were able to go through, here are a few points on their plans related to the usage of technology in governance, and digital policy:
– No FDI In Retail: The Aam Aadmi party has sought to protect small retailers from competition from organized retail, saying it will oppose foreign direct investment in retail in India.
– Easy loans for entrepreneurs, simplification of licensing and VAT
– WiFi at ISBT: WiFi will be provided at the Interstate Bus Terminus, in the waiting area
– Bus Tickets Online: A website will be set up for booking bus tickets at ISBT
– Data collection and disclosure related to water: Bulk water meters will be installed for collecting data on how much water comes in to Delhi, and this data put on the website every day. Bulk water meters will be installed at treatment plants, and their data will be published on the website every day. Data from 21 water zones will be collected and published on the Delhi Jal Board website.
– CCTV deployment: In many constituency specific manifestos, the AAP has said it will deploy CCTV’s in public areas, to help improve security: CCTV’s are proposed for Chandni Chowk (strangely, with shopkeepers given access to footage), CCTV in schools at Majnu Ka Tila, at an orphanage in Jama Masjid area, Netaji Subhash Park, Vasant Kunj, Vasant Kunj Enclave and parks at Majnu Ka Tila. CCTV’s are also planned inside police stations, where FIR’s are registered, in order to ensure that the police doesn’t refuse to register FIR’s when required.
– In Civil Lines, the Ludlow Castle School will get a biometric attendance system for reachers and students, and a computer lab will be provided in the schools at Majnu Ka Tila.
The plan to provide a bus ticketing portal is a good one, as is the one related to disclosures of data on water consumption. The Aam Aadmi Party appears to be focusing on corruption as a key issue, and from a constituency perspective, on constituency specific governance issues, over big ticket changes such as digitization of services and payments, introduction of a common card for public transport, smart meters, among other things. There isn’t as much of a focus on digitization of service as we had expected, even though this would have reduced the dependency on arbitrary decisions from government officials, and helped maintain a record of delivery of services, hence potentially reducing corruption. Also, the apparent obsession with deployment of CCTV as a means of increasing security is worrying, and there is nothing on addressing issues related to surveillance of citizens.