With a clear vision, the present government is pushing ahead the Digital India initiative to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. View more at #Hindustan360.
The journey towards a digitally – connected India began in the early 90s and 2000s with the introduction of a range of e–Governance programmes. However, its impact was limited. With the launch of this initiative, the government aims to reach out to citizens in the remotest of locations and make them a part of India’s growth story. Since technology is a key driver in causing disruptive change, digital tools will empower citizens and prove to be a game-changer.
Digital India provides the much-needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity and Public Internet Access Programme, among others.
The Digital India programme is based on the following pillars
Under this programme, high – speed broadband coverage highways will connect 250,000 villages, various government departments, universities, etc. In addition, National Information Infrastructure (NII) will ensure the integration of the network and cloud infrastructure within the country to provide high-speed connectivity to various government departments. These components include networks such as State Wide Area Network (SWAN), National Knowledge Network (NKN), National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), Government User Network (GUN) and the MeghRaj Cloud.
Universal access to Mobile Connectivity
Today, there exist around 55,619 villages in India that have no mobile coverage. To cover remote villages in the northeast, a comprehensive development plan has been initiated that will be carried out in phases.
Public Internet Access Programme
The underlying principle of this initiative is to make 250,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) operational at the gram Panchayat level for delivery of government services. In a similar move, 150,000 post offices will be converted into multi-service centres.
e-Governance: Reforming government through technology
The idea is to use business process re-engineering to transform government processes and make them simple, automated and efficient. Under this, forms will be simplified and only minimum and necessary information will be collected. Similarly, there will be a tracking process for the status of online applications. To further simplify the process, use of online repositories for certificates, educational degrees, identity documents will be encouraged so that these documents do not have to be submitted in the physical form.
Ekranti – Electronic Delivery of Services
This pillar emphasises on the use of technology for service delivery such as e-education, e-healthcare, technology for planning, final inclusion etc.
Information for all
This is to provide open access to government information and documents available online. This will enable a two – way communication between the citizens and the government through online platforms and social media. The biggest success story is MyGov.in, a platform for citizen engagement in governance, which was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26th July 2014 as a medium to exchange ideas or suggestions with the government.
Under this programme, the target is to reach net zero imports by 2020 through implementation in areas such as taxation, economies of scale, skill development, government procurement etc.
IT for jobs
This step will provide the required skills and training to enable youth to find jobs in the IT/ITes sector. This component also emphasises on the setting up of BPOs to enable ICT-enabled growth.
Early harvest programmes
These early harvest programmes consist of a range of projects to be carried out within a short timeline. This includes an IT platform for messages, e-greetings from the government, biometric attendance and Wi-Fi in all universities etc.
Successes of Digital India
e-Pathshala: Transforming Learning through Technology
The Ministry of Human Resource Development introduced the e-Pathshala programme to promote ‘learning on the go’ among students, teachers and parents. Through this initiative, free access to NCERT books is available to students of classes 1 to 12. These books are available in both Hindi and English.
The initiative, driven by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), seeks to provide comprehensive Government-to-Business (G2B) services to business entities with transparency, speed, and certainty. The aim is to reduce several levels of points of contact between business entities and government agencies, establish single-window services and reduce the burden of compliances.
My Gov platform
This is a platform for citizens to exchange ideas and suggestions with the government. Through this initiative, the government receives feedback, inputs and ideas from people regarding policy decisions and new initiatives like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Make in India, among others.
The Jeevan Praman programme enables pensioners to conveniently submit their life certificates online through this portal. The certificates are stored in the Life Certificate Repository and available to pensioners and Pension Disbursing agencies.
Digital Locker System
DigiLocker is a key initiative under Digital India. This programme is targeted at paperless governance and is a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates digitally. A dedicated cloud storage space is given to all those who register for the Digital Locker account. To make it an easy process, this storage is linked to their Aadhar (UIDAI) number. Organisations that are registered with Digital Locker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates (e.g. driving license, Voter ID, School certificates) directly into the citizens’ lockers. As per the official website, there are 39, 64, 008 registered users and 50,47,204 uploaded documents.
View more at #Hindustan360.