What is ‘Digital India’ program :-
- ‘Digital India’ was launched in July 2015 by Government of India. This is started with the aim to achieve three interconnected goals. They are
- Availability of high speed internet to each and every citizen.
- To make all government services accessible to the common man through E-governance.
- Digital empowerment of citizens.
- Mobile internet played an excellent role in achieving vision of digital India. India became second largest market of smartphones in the world. No. of internet users increased to 50 crore as of May 2017. In June 2014, no. of internet users were 24.3 crore.
- Indian government is promoting content in local languages in internet.
- India improved its rank in ‘United Nations eGovernance Index’ by 11 positions compared to 2014. In 2016, India’s rank is 107. In 2014, it was 118.
- No. of e-governance transactions per day was increased.
- ‘DigiLocker‘, launched in 2015 enables citizens to securely store and share documents electronically has 72.66 lakh registered users as of 2017.
- All central ministers are present in social media and are utilizing social media to receive complaints and feedback from citizens.
- Now, people can share their views, ideas and suggestion directly to the government electronically through Narendra Modi app.
- ‘Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)’ app, a simple UPI based mobile app for digital payments was launched in december 2016. UPI-based transactions grew more than 20 times since then. However this growth can be attributed to demonetization move.
- ‘BHIM Aadhar’ was started for digital payments at merchant outlets. With this, payer need not have mobile phone to make digital payment.
- Digital payments training and awareness campaigns were conducted. 2.04 crore people registered for this and were trained as of 2017.
- ‘UMANG’ app was launched to drive mobile governance in India.
- ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan ‘(PMGDISHA) was started with the aim of making 6 crore persons digitally literate. 82.7 lakh people are trained under this scheme as of 2016.
- Efforts were taken by government of India to make government apps available in regional languages as well.
- Indian government has installed free public wifi hotspots at many public places.
- eNAM was setup to connect agriculture produce markets. 36.4 lakh farmers registered for this as of 2017.
- Direct benefit transfers were increased.
- 90,966 Gram Panchayats were connected by optical fibre network as of May 2017. The actual goal is to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats by optical fibre network by 2019. This will also cover villages and areas effected by left wing extremism.
- ‘National Knowledge Network‘, a revolutionary towards creating a knowledge society without boundaries connected 1635 institutions as of 2017.
- ‘National Cyber Coordination Center‘ is operating from June 2017. It ensures cyber security and is a backbone to the vision of Digital India.
- Despite taking effort to improve e-governance, India stood at 107th place in the world in e-governance according to UN e-governance Index. That means there is so much to be done to be at par with the best.
- Still there is digital divide between rural and urban areas, between poor and rich, and between young and old people. Government of India is yet to close this gap.
- All these developments of digital connectivity is a result of global trends. Increased internet penetration is due to competition among telecom companies and the internet pack offers they provided. All this success cannot be attributed to ‘Digital India’ program alone.
- E-governance was started long before the launch of ‘Digital India’.
- Still some people in India have no basic education. Digital literacy is difficult to achieve without primary education.
- Still there are many remote rural areas in India that do not have access to electricity, and some other rural areas have limited access. This is an obstacle for ‘Digital India’.
India has come a long way in digitalization and has a long way to go to achieve the vision of Digital India. We can clearly see the difference in no. of internet users and improved e-governance. But there is still digital illiteracy in many parts of India. ‘Digital India’ will be a success, when its benefits are available to each and every citizen of India.
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Source of data – www.digitalindia.gov.in
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