M.N. Vidyashankar, principal secretary of e-governance for the Indian state of Karnataka, discusses Bhoomi, a large-scale e-governance project introduced by the state to digitize land records and provide computerized access to them. He details the process undertaken to implement both Bhoomi and a larger-scale electronic kiosk system to increase both rural and urban access to governance through one-stop shops. He explains at length the system to train data-entry workers and how the entire system is monitored. Vidyashankar also explains the benefits of the public-private partnership that runs the kiosk system. Finally, he discusses what he would change about the creation and implementation of the system, given the chance to do it again.
At the time of this interview, M.N. Vidyashankar was the principal secretary of e-governance for the state of Karnataka, India. Vidyashankar previously worked as chairman of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board, chief electoral officer of Karnataka, commissioner of the Bangalore Development Authority, and principal secretary of Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Science Technology. Vidyashankar received a master’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in philosophy from the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi and also completed a master’s degree in business administration at Harvard Business School.