Digital India : A Programme to prepare India for a Knowledge Future

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Digital India is an initiative of the Government of India to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing internet connectivity. Digital India is a Programme to prepare India for a knowledge future. It was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015.

“A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.”

Pillars

  1. Broadband Highways
  2. Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
  3. Public Internet Access Programme
  4. e-Governance – Reforming Government through Technology
  5. eKranti – Electronic delivery of services
  6. Information for All
  7. Electronics Manufacturing
  8. IT for Jobs
  9. Early Harvest Programmes

Vision Of Digital India

  1. Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
  2. Governance & Services on Demand
  3. Digital Empowerment of Citizens

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.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; joint secretary, capacity building and digital enablement; and joint secretary, IT applications in uncovered areas & process re-engineering.

Apps for Digital India

Digital India Portal, MyGov Mobile App, Swachh Bharat Mission App and Aadhaar Mobile Update App.

Digital India Week

At the launch ceremony of Digital India Week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top CEOs from India and abroad committed to invest Rs 4.5 lakh crore (~70 BUSD with 1 USD=Rs65) towards this initiative. The CEOs said the investments would be utilitized towards making smartphones and internet devices at an affordable price in India which would help generate jobs in India as well as reduce the cost of importing them from abroad.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said his company would invest Rs 2.5 lakh crore across different Digital India heads, which have the potential to create employment for over five lakh people.He also announced setting up of the ‘Jio Digital India Start Up Fund’ to encourage young entrepreneurs who are setting up businesses focused around the Digital India initiative.

Silicon Valley                                                2015_9img27_Sep_2015_PTI9_27_2015_000128B

Tech Giants from Silicon Valley, San Jose, California expressed their support for Digital India during PM Narendra Modi’s visit in September 2015. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, changed his DP in support of Digital India and started a chain on Facebook and promised to work on WiFi Hotspots in rural India. Google committed to provide broadband connectivity on 500 railway stations in India. Microsoft agreed to provide broadband connectivity to five lakh villages in India and make India its cloud hub through Indian data centres. Qualcomm announced an investment of $150 million in Indian startups.

Impact of Digital India by 2019
  1. Broadband in 2.5 lakh villages, universal phone connectivity
  2. Net Zero Imports by 2020
  3. 400,000 Public Internet Access Points
  4. Wi-fi in 2.5 lakh schools, all universities; Public wi-fi hotspots for citizens
  5. Digital Inclusion: 1.7 Cr trained for IT, Telecom and Electronics Jobs
  6. Job creation: Direct 1.7 Cr. and Indirect at least 8.5 Cr.
  7. e-Governance & eServices: Across government
  8. India to be leader in IT use in services – health, education, banking
  9. Digitally empowered citizens – public cloud, internet access

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