I was motivated to study the growth and development of ICT and E-Government in Estonia and the academic researches on this domain in the higher educational institutions. My research started with academic discussion with Prof Wolfgang Drechsler and Dr. Tarmo Kalvet. The focus areas elaborated are the emergence of ICT and e-government, organization structure & coordination, e-services, m-services, IT sector, identification of success factors, current challenges and future growth. The process of collection of information and facts went from literature review to opinion capture of senior government officials, academics, domain experts etc.
The opinions of Prof Wolfgang Drechsler (Chair of Governance, Tallinn University of Technology), Dr Tarmo Kalvet (Senior Research Fellow, Tallinn University of Technology), Linnar Viik (Estonian IT Guru and Faculty, Estonian IT College), Veiko Räime (Director and Co-Founder, Mobi Dolutions), Siim Sikkut (National ICT Policy Advisor), Meelis Kitsing (E- Government Expert and Director, Ministry of Ecomonic Affairs & Communication), Anu Toots (Director, Institute of Political Science and Governance, Tallinn University), Enn Õunapuu (Professor, Department of Informatics, Tallinn University of Technology), Kristi Kivilo (Head, Look@ World Foundation), Signe Rosin & Karel Zova (Tiger Leap Foundation), Luukas Kristjan Ilves & Mihkel Tikk (Estonian Information Systems Authority), Kristjan Rebane (Estonian Development Fund), Doris Põld (Association of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Estonia), Hannes Astok & Members of eGovernance Academy, Karin Rits (Head, Information Society Division, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Communication, Government of Estonia), Representatives of Tartu City Government headed by Lilian Lukka (Head of Information Service) were taken. Visits to the ICT Demo Center of Tallinn and Tartu Science Park have also been undertaken.
I got the opportunity to attend the Doctoral Dissertation defence of Mr Robert Krimmer on The Evolution of E- Voting: Why Voting Technology is Used and How it Affects Democracy. As the PhD student, I gained the experience of attending PhD Defence as well the chance of gaining knowledge about e-voting and its effect on democracy.
The research visit to Estonia to study the e-governance (with special focus on e-services and m-governance) is like a capacity building experience for me for future academic research as well as for working in the bureaucracy of India. Already being part of the bureaucracy of India, I headed three e-governance projects. The experience of Estonia will help me to develop and strategize program implementation in more innovative ways. I learned the implementation of e-services in Estonia, various types of e-services and the problems encountered by the authorities. This will really benefit me in my job. In India, the various e-services are being implemented. As part of the team, I can contribute more by transfering the Estonian experiences and learnings.
The outcome of the research visit is the report in the shape of working paper which would be submitted to my University in India (Thapar University), Department of Information Technology (International Division), Government of India; Department of Information Technology, Government of West Bengal, India and National Institute of Smart Government (NISG), India. In Estonia, the report would be submitted to the National ICT Policy Advisor, Tallinn University of Technology and RISO.
I would like to thank my superviors, all the Faculty members, the Tallinn University of Technology and DoRa Program for the wonderful and enriched research experience. The research visit is like a building block for my endeavor to achieve global experiences and strengthen my capability for quality research work.