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Digital India — Power to Empower

January 21, 2017

Digital India is the most discussed topic in the current Indian news media and public opinion alike. Especially with the announcement by the Indian govt to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and introduce new Rs500 and Rs 2000 notes to curb Black money market and promote Digital money payment in the market.

First let us know the definition of the word “Digital”. Digital describes electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states: positive and non-positive. Positive is expressed or represented by the number 1 and non-positive by the number 0. Thus, data transmitted or stored with digital technology is expressed as a string of 0’s and 1’s. Each of these state digits is referred to as a bit (and a string of bits that a computer can address individually as a group is a byte).

Prior to digital technology, electronic transmission was limited to analog technology, which conveys data as electronic signals of varying frequency or amplitude that are added to carrier waves of a given frequency. Broadcast and phone transmission has conventionally used analog technology.

Digital technology is primarily used with new physical communications media, such as satellite and fibre optic transmission. A modem is used to convert the digital information in your computer to analog signals for your phone line and to convert analog phone signals to digital information for your computer.

India has been in the forefront in the world when it comes to Information technology in software . Information technology in software has been the sunrise industry in India the 1980’s and 1990’s with the vision that it will become the world leader in the 21st century . The dream has come true .

However despite being the powerhouse in the software the role of government to provide electronic digital services to its citizens is comparatively low as compared to the developed nations.

The National e-governance plan was approved in 2006 and had made a steady progress through Mission Mode Projects and Core ICT Infrastructure but still more homework has to done to reach the mission.

Digital India Vision.

The Digital India vision provides the intensified impetus for further momentum and progress for this initiative and this would promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities. India in the 21st Century must strive to meet the aspirations of its citizens where government and its services reach the doorsteps of citizens and contribute towards a long-lasting positive impact. Thus the vision of Digital India aims to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.  

Digital India Programme.

Digital India programme was started by the Indian Government with the objective of making all the government services electronically available to citizens by enhancing the Internet connectivity and the online infrastructure. This initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st July, 2015 at Indra Gandhi Indoor Stadium,New Delhi. The program also aims to bring big investments in the technology sector of India and bridge the digital segment of the country.

The govt. launched this initiative to develop and integrate all govt. departments,ministries and public services.Hence it would improve the life of general public and citizens. Based on these programmes, all central govt, state govt and union territory govt. will be integrated.The existing and the ongoing projects of e-governance will be aligned with the concept of digital India.

The cost of the project is supposed to be Rs 1,13000 crores. This is most expensive and ambitious programme ever launched by the Indian government.

Thus the aim Digital India programme is fulfil the vision to transform India into digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.  This program me has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).The programme will be implemented in phases and will be completed in 2018.

Through Digital India Programme the Indian Government aims to create jobs for 18 lakh people and bring investment of around Rs. 4.5 lakh crore in the country.

How it is to going be implemented ?

For effective implementation the digital India programme has been divided into three parts:

  1. The creation of the digital infrastructure.

  2. Delivering services digitally

  3. Digital literacy.

  1. The creation of Digital infrastructure.

    1. High speed internet as a core utility to be made available to all Gram Panchayats. Government intends to lay national optical fibre network in all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats. The government plans to provide nationwide information infrastructure by March 2017.

    2. Beginning of a unique , lifelong , online and authentic Digital Identity. Digital India programme aims to enhance the processes and delivery of different government services through e-Governance with payment gateway, UIDAI, EDI and mobile platforms. It also intends to deliver the school certificates, voter ID cards, etc. online.

    3. Digital Banking with the help of mobile phones and bank account. As a part of the drive the Government is focusing on zero imports of electronics by setting up smart energy meters, mobile, micro ATMs, consumer and medical electronics.

    4. Ease of access to common service center in the locality. The government is planning to create 28,000 seats of BPOs in various states and set up at least one Common Service Centre in each of the gram panchayats in the state.

    5. Shareable private space on a public cloud.

  •     6.Safe and secure Cyber space in the country. Establishing Wi-Fi    facilities in all universities across the nation is also a part of the Digital India Programme. Under the programme, e-mail would be made the main mode of communication .

  • 2. Delivering Services Digitally.

  1. Provide a easy and single window access to all sections in the society by integrating all departments.

  2. Making all govt. services available in real time through mobile and internet. The initiative also looks to provide internet services to almost 2.5 lakh villages by March 2017 and 1.5 lakh post offices in the coming two years.

  3. All citizens to be available on the cloud to ensure easy access. The programme also focuses on providing electronic services to people related with education, health, farmers, security, justice and financial inclusion through e-Kranti services.

  4. Ease of doing Business through digital govt. services. Some of the facilities which will be      provided through this initiative are

     A.. Digital Locker (storage of documents like Voters card, Pan Card, driving license, educational documents in the cloud) .

    B. . Attendance.gov.in  is a website, launched by on 1 July 2015 to keep a record of the attendance of Government employees on a real-time basis. This initiative started with implementation of a common Biometric Attendance System (BAS) in the central government offices located in Delhi.

    C   E-sign framework (digitally sign a document using Aadhar card authentication),

     D. My Gov.in (This portal works as an online platform to engage citizens in governance through a  “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach.)

      E.   Swach Bharat Mission mobile app which will enable citizens to get all the information regarding cleanliness,

       F.  National scholarship Portal to make it easier to process applicant for scholarship easy through online,

       G.   E-hospital – Online Registration System under this initiative enables people to avail services like online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, checking on the availability of blood online, etc.,

       H.   Digital India platform – This initiative will involve digitization of data and records on a large scale in the country to make easy and quick access to them possible.

       I.   Bharat Net – Under this initiative, a high-speed digital highway will connect all 250,000 gram panchayats of the country. This is the world’s largest rural broadband project using optical fibre.

        J.  Wi-fi Hotspots –To improve digital connectivity in the country,

        K.   Next Generation Network – this service will replace 30-year old telephone exchanges to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia and other types of communication services .

        L.    Electronics Development Fund – The fund will be set up to support the manufacturing of electronics products that would help create new jobs and reduce import. The funds will promote innovation, research and product development to create a resource pool within the country

        M.    Centre of Excellence on Internet of Things (IoT) – In partnership with NASSCOM, DeitY and ERNET in Bangalore, Centre of Excellence will enable rapid adoption of IoT technology and encourage a new growth strategy. IoT will help the citizens in services like transport system, parking, electricity, waste management, water management and women’s safety to create smart cities, smart health services, smart manufacturing and smart agriculture, etc.

      5   Cashless and digital payments.

      6 .Leveraging GIS for decision support systems and development.

  1. Digital literacy.  

   A.   Universal digital literacy. Digital Literacy mission will cover six crore rural households.   It is        planned to connect 550 farmer markets in the country through the use of technology.

   B.  Universal accessibility to all digital resources. The Government looks to make all information  easily available to the citizens through online hosting of data .

   C.   All govt. documents/certificates to be available on the cloud.

   D.   Availability of all digital resources/services in all Indian languages.

    E.     Collaborative Digital platforms for participative governance.

    F.     Portability of all entitlements for individuals through the Cloud.

Pillars

The govt. of India hopes to achieve  growth on multiple fronts with Digital India Programmes. Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely

  1. Universal access to Internet.

  2. Public Internet Access Programme

  3. e-Governance – Reforming Government through Technology

  4. e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services

  5. Information for All

  6. Electronics Manufacturing

  7. IT for Jobs

  8. Early Harvest Programmes

  9. Broadband Highways

Achievements and Partnerships of Digital Programme .

As the launch ceremony of Digital India week by Mr Narendra Modi on 1st july 2015 ,top CEOs from India  and abroad has committed to invest Rs224.5 lac crores(US 3.3 trillion dollars) towards this initiative. The CEOs said  that this investment will be made to the manufacture of Internet devices and smartphones in India which will help creating jobs in India as well as reducing the cost of importing them.

Leaders from Silicon Valley ,San Jose , California expressed their support for Digital India during prime minister’s visit to USA in September 2015. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerburg changed his profile picture in support of Digital India and started a chain on Facebook and promised to work on WiFi Hotspots in rural area of India. Google committed to provide broadband connectivity on 500 railway stations in India. Microsoft agreed to provide broadband connectivity to five hundred thousand villages in India and make India its cloud hub through Indian data centres. PM Modi met Apple CEO Tim Cook as well and he invited Apple to set up manufacturing unit in India and Cook agreed to it. Foxconn, which is Apple’s largest manufacturer, has decided to set up a manufacturing base in India. Qualcomm announced an investment of US$150 million in Indian startups. Oracle plans to invest in 20 states and will work on payments and Smart city initiatives.

 Times Now and ET Now has announced the launch of the second edition of Digital India Summit & Awards on 22 March 2016 . On 28 December 2015, the Panchkula district  of Haryana  was awarded for being the best as well as top performing district in the state under the Digital India campaign.

Scope of Digital India Programme.

The overall scope of Digital India programme is

    1.To prepare India for a Knowledge future.

    2.To realize Indian talent plus Information technology to better India Tomorrow.

  1. Making Technology central to enable change.

    4.Making it an umbrella programme by weaving together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single, comprehensive vision, so that each of them is seen as part of a larger goal.

     5.The Digital India Programme will pull together many existing schemes which would be restructured and re-focused and implemented in a synchronized manner.

 

 

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