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Indian Government Debuts e-Gov Appstore Pilot; No Download Support Yet

eGov App StoreFive months after the initial announcement, the Indian Government has launched a pilot version of its e-Gov application store at apps.gov.in.

This app store has been designed, developed and hosted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) through NIC (National Informatics Centre). The apps submitted to the e-Gov app store will be used by various government departments and agencies at the Centre and in the States.

The government says that the eGov App Store will act as a common repository for developed apps, components and web services that can be used by various government agencies and departments at State and Centre level. It will also feature all the popular core and common apps that can be replicated across the central and state levels. However, in the current pilot, it is just a repository showcasing all NIC applications and components developed for States and the apps haven’t been developed into products which can be downloaded yet.

eGov App Store: When we checked the app store, there were 29 items available including 20 apps, eight Components and a single Web Service. These applications are sourced from eight States and Union Territories to provide G2C (government to customer)/G2B (government to business) services and at the time of writing this article, there were 15 apps from Delhi, 6 from Tamil Nadu, 2 each from Haryana and Maharashtra and 1 each from Tripura, Punjab, Gujarat, and Kerala. One can sort these apps based on title, popularity, ratings, last updated and most recent or filter these apps based on app type, app category and state. There is also a keyword-based search box on the site, which allows users to search for their preferred apps.

eGov App Store

One can click on any specific app listing to browse through more information about the app like release date, services offered by the app, app status and implementation status across various ministries and states. The app listing also offers links to demo websites to view how the app works as well as provide information on the software environment required to run the app. One can then login to the website and contact the app developer to receive the app code base and the database, which can then be deployed on their own environments. However, we couldn’t find a way to register for the service at the time of writing this article.

App Sharing: The government says that the e-Gov Appstore will offer an app sharing feature, however its not clear on how the feature works, since it requires users to login to the website. Going forward, the government also plans to include applications and components developed by various departments and agencies at the Centre, State and private players to establish an app ecosystem and the app store will eventually become a part of the government’s GI Cloud initiative. However, the government hasn’t disclosed any specific information on how third party app developers can submit their app for distribution through the app store.

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DeitY agenda: In January 2013, DeitY had announced plans to launch the e-Gov app store to enable the “rapid deployment and re-use of applications” and reduce the effort in the development and maintenance of the apps that have already been developed by other departments/agencies at the Centre or the State level.

It had also launched a Mobile Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG), in order to make government services available to citizens through mobile devices. The rollout was expected to be completed by December 2013 and was expected to include a Mobile App Store, Mobile Payment Gateway and a Mobile Wallet among others.

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