What is Digital India?
Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.
- It was launched on 1 July 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks.
- The first steps were taken with the launch of MyGov.in portal. Narendra Modi launched his mobile app to connect further with the netizens.
- Several initiatives have been taken for introduction of Information Technology to empower people in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce etc. Digital India Week has been launched with an aim to impart knowledge to people and to empower themselves through the Digital India Programme of Government of India.
The programme structure
Digital India consists of three core components. These include:
- The creation of digital infrastructure
- Delivery of services digitally
- Digital literacy
This programme has been envisaged and coordinated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) in collaboration with various Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments. The Prime Minister as the Chairman of Monitoring Committee on Digital India, activities under the Digital India initiative is being carefully monitored. All the existing and ongoing e-Governance initiatives have been revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India.
Vision of Digital India
The vision of Digital India programme aims at inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc. Especially with the help of IoT and its integration in the manufacturing industry, IoT machine monitoring and preventive maintenance powered by industry 4.0 could prove useful in streamlining a lot of processes. This could potentially pave the way for a innovative new future for India.
The key areas however, are –
- Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
- Governance & Services on Demand and
- Digital Empowerment of Citizens
With the above vision, the Digital India programme aims to provide Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, E-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, eKranti – Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing: Target Net Zero Imports, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes.
Key Projects of Digital India programme
Several projects/products have already launched or ready to be launched as indicated below:
- Digital Locker System aims to minimize the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents will be done through registered repositories thereby ensuring the authenticity of the documents online.
- MyGov.in has been implemented as a platform for citizen engagement in governance, through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach. The mobile App for MyGov would bring these features to users on a mobile phone.
- Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app would be used by people and Government organizations for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission.
- eSign framework would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.
- The Online Registration System (ORS) under the eHospital application has been introduced. This application provides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online etc.
- National Scholarships Portal is a one stop solution for end to end scholarship process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the Government of India.
- DeitY has undertaken an initiative namely Digitize India Platform (DIP) for large scale digitization of records in the country that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
- The Government of India has undertaken an initiative namely Bharat Net, a high speed digital highway to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre.
- BSNL has introduced Next Generation Network (NGN), to replace 30 year old exchanges, which is an IP based technology to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia/ video and other types of packet switched communication services.
- BSNL has undertaken large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. The user can latch on the BSNL Wi-Fi network through their mobile devices.
- To deliver citizen services electronically and improve the way citizens and authorities transact with each other, it is imperative to have ubiquitous connectivity. The government also realises this need as reflected by including ‘broadband highways’ as one of the pillars of Digital India. While connectivity is one criterion, enabling and providing technologies to facilitate delivery of services to citizens forms the other.
- Policy initiatives have also been undertaken (by DeitY) in the e- Governance domain like e-Kranti Framework, Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India, Framework for Adoption of Open Source Software in e-Governance Systems, Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Government of India, E-mail Policy of Government of India, Policy on Use of IT Resources of Government of India, Policy on Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications, Application Development & Re-Engineering Guidelines for Cloud Ready Applications
- BPO Policy has been approved to create BPO centres in different North Eastern states and also in smaller / mofussil towns of other states.
- Electronics Development Fund (EDF) Policy aims to promote Innovation, R&D, and Product Development and to create a resource pool of IP within the country to create a self-sustaining eco-system of Venture Funds.
- National Centre for Flexible Electronics (NCFlexE) is an initiative of Government of India to promote research and innovation in the emerging area of Flexible Electronics.
- Centre of Excellence on Internet on Things (IoT) is a joint initiative of Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), ERNET and NASSCOM.
The estimated impact of Digital India by 2019 would be cross cutting, ranging from broadband connectivity in all Panchayats, Wi-fi in schools and universities and Public Wi-Fi hotspots. The programme will generate huge number of IT, Telecom and Electronics jobs, both directly and indirectly. Success of this programme will make India Digitally empowered and the leader in usage of IT in delivery of services related to various domains such as health, education, agriculture, banking, etc.