Digital India: The high speed digital highways that unite the nation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address as he flagged off the Digital India initiatives, that “I dream of a digital India where high speed digital highways unite the nation. I dream of a digital India where government is open and governance is transparent, I dream of a Digital India where 1.2 billion connected Indians drive innovation. I dream of a Digital India where the world looks to India for the next innovation. I dream of a Digital India where ICT enabled citizen-government interface is incorruptible”
Digital India is the Government of India initiative to digitalize all the government departments and to transform India to a digitally empowered knowledge economy. The vision of Digital India is to ensure Government services are made available electronically to the public. It’s a programme of Government of India projected at Rs.1,13,000 crores. It is considered that the project will be completed by 2019. This project is going to change the face of public services to the citizens. The idea behind digital India programme is to deliver good governance to citizens by coordinating both Central govt. and State govt.
The main focus of digital India are
Digital Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen: This includes High speed internet shall be made available in all grama 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 cyberspace in the country.
Governance and Services on Demand: This includes 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: This includes 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.
One major pillar of digital India initiative is Early Harvest programmes which paves way to a number of new development projects and these projects are to be implemented in a short span of timeline. The major initiatives here include:
Mass messaging App which is developed by dept. of electronics and information technology could cover information from the elected representatives and govt. employees. Biometric attendance system has been implemented to cover all central government offices. To begin with, all the central government offices in Delhi has got the access to biometric attendance system. The use of this facility is, all the central govt employees will be able to mark their attendance from any branches in Delhi.
Wi-fi in all Universities: Under this project all universities will be brought under National Knowledge Network. Secure email within government, through this Government of India is planning to make e-mail as the primary mode of communication. Standardized e-mail templates will be prepared for government.
Public Wifi hotspots, The cities having tourist centers and population more than one million will be provided with public Wifi hotspots. This will enhance to promote digital cities. School books to ebooks, All School books will be converted to ebooks, that will eventually reduce the use of paper. SMS weather information and disaster alerts, this will give information on environmental and natural hazards before its occurrence through SMS. Ministry of Earth Science, Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority are involved in implementing this scheme. National portal for lost and found children, this scheme is designed to make available the required information regarding the lost and found children & to rectify the crimes and for timely response.
Other than the Early Harvest Programmes, Digital India has 8 more major projects. Digital India programme ensures an inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities to Indian youth and a tremendous growth in internet services and cloud based platform service.