The Indian Government launched the Digital India campaign to make available government services to citizens electronically by online infrastructure improvement and also by enhancing internet connectivity. It also aims to empower the country digitally in the domain of technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the campaign on 1st July 2015.
What is Digital India ?
Digital India is a Programme to prepare India for a knowledge future. Hon’ble Shri Narender Modi, Prime Minsiter of India has laid emphasis on National e- governance plan and has gave it’s approval for Digital India – A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.
Digital India is an ambitious programme of Government of India projected at Rs 1,13,000 crores. This will be for preparing the India for the knowledge based transformation and delivering good governance to citizens by synchronized and co-ordinated engagement with both Central Government and State Government.
Department of Electronics
This programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and will impact ministry of communications & IT, ministry of rural development, ministry of human resource development, ministry of health and others. This programme will also benefit all states and union territories. The existing/ ongoing e-Governance initiatives would be revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India. The vision of Digital India is to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It would ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically. It would also bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically.
The Digital India vision provides the intensified impetus for further momentum and progress for e-Governance and would promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities.
Digital infrastructure will focus on providing high speed secure Internet. Governance and services on demand will stress on integrating services across departments and jurisdictions and making services available in real time for both online and mobile platform.
Digital empowerment of citizens will pay emphasis on universal digital literacy and availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages.
The programme will be implemented in phases from 2014 till 2018. The source of funding for most of the e-Governance projects at present is through budgetary provisions of respective ministries/departments in the central or state governments. Requirements of funds for individual project(s) for Digital India will be worked out by respective nodal ministries/departments but according to government estimate it will cost Rs 113,000 crore. To implement this the government is planning to strengthen National Informatics Center (NIC) by restructuring it to support all central government departments and state governments. Positions of chief information officers (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key ministries so that e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster.
Apart from this, the DeitY would create four senior positions within the department for managing the programme say additional secretary, Digital India; joint secretary, infrastructure development also joint secretary, capacity building and digital enablement; and joint secretary, IT applications in uncovered areas & process re-engineering.
Digital India has the VISION:
Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen:
High speed internet shall be made available in all gram panchayats; Cradle to grave digital identity; Mobile and Bank account would enable participation in digital and financial space at individual level; Easy access to common service centre within their locality; Shareable private space on a public cloud; and Safe and secure cyber space also in the country.
Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen:
High speed internet shall be made available in all gram panchayats; Cradle to grave digital identity; Mobile and Bank account also would enable participation in digital and financial space at individual level; Easy access to common service centre within their locality; Shareable private space also on a public cloud; and Safe and secure cyber space also in the country.
Governance and Services on Demand:
Single window access to all persons by seamlessly integrating departments or jurisdictions; availability of government services in online and mobile platforms; All citizen entitlements to be available on the Cloud to ensure easy access; Government services to be digitally transformed for improving ease of doing business; Making financial transactions above a threshold, electronic and cashless; and Leveraging GIS for decision support systems and development.
Digital empowerment of citizens:
Universal digital literacy; All digital resources universally accessible; All government documents/certificates to be available on the Cloud; Availability of digital. resources/services in Indian languages; Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance; Portability of all entitlements for individuals through the cloud.
Advantages of Digital India Mission
Digital India Mission is an initiative also that encompasses plans to connect the rural areas of the country with high-speed internet networks. On the platform of digital adoption, India also ranks amongst the top 2 countries globally and the digital economy of India is likely to cross $1 trillion by the year 2022.
Some of the advantages of Digital India are:
- Around 12000 post office branches in the rural areas have been linked electronically.
- There is an increase in electronic transactions related to e-governance.
- An optical fiber network of 2, 74,246 km has connected over 1.15 lakh Gram Panchayats under the Bharat Net programme.
- A Common Service Center (CSC) is created under the National e-Governance Project of the Indian government which provides access for information and communication technology (ICT). Through computer and Internet access, the CSCs provide multimedia content related to e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment, and other government and private services.
- Establishment of digital villages along with well-equipped facilities such as solar lighting, LED assembly unit, sanitary napkin production unit, and Wi-Fi choupal.
- Internet data is used as a major tool for the delivery of the services and the urban internet penetration has reached 64%.
- Presently, the number of daily active internet users also has reached 300 million from 10-15 million daily users. Also, it is estimated that the number would double by the year 2020.
Challenges of Digital India
The government of India has taken an initiative also through the Digital India Mission to connect the rural areas of the country with high-speed internet networks. Apart from the various initiatives also taken by Digital India, there are several challenges faced by it.
Some of the challenges and drawbacks of Digital Mission are also mentioned below:
- The daily internet speed, as well as the Wi-Fi hotspots, are slow as compared to other developed nations.
- Most of the small and medium scale industry has also to struggle a lot for adapting to the new modern technology.
- Limited capability of entry-level smartphones for smooth internet access.
- Lack of skilled manpower in the field of digital technology.
- To look for about one million cybersecurity experts to check and monitor the growing menace of digital crime.
- Lack of user education.