India’s charismatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent US visit and subsequent meeting with who’s who of Silicon Valley has forced the world to sit down and pay attention. Everyone from Google to Facebook welcomed the “Man of Masses” with open arms, rolled out expansion plans like never before in the recent history. But the event itself and the reactions that followed are very much significant. After all, it was aimed at laying out the base of digitizing a nation with a population of 1.2 billion, majority of which is young and aspiring.
In Modi’s words,
“Digital India is an enterprise for the transformation of India in a scale unmatched in human history. Nothing else will do in a country with 800 million impatient youths waiting for change”
The words reflect the hunger amongst the nation’s people to grow which could be satiated only by resources and knowledge.
1) What is Digital India initiative?
According to DeitY (Department of electronics and Information technology), it is an umbrella program connecting various departments
- It weaves 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.
- It is coordinated by DeitY and implemented in all ministries in the government.
- The weaving together makes the Mission transformative in totality.
Digital India initiative provides common branding for all the government initiatives which highlights their transformative impact.
2) Digital India Vision
The vision rests on following nine main pillars identified by the government of India
3) What this vision means?
The vision envisages increased penetration of mobile and internet services in urban as well as rural users. For this to happen, there is a dire need of setting up a digital infrastructure. The roadmap for this three layered architecture has already been conceptualized and they will fulfill the supply side requirements of this initiative.
The government has planned to offer a plethora of e-governance services like Digital Locker, e-education, e-health, e-sign and national scholarship portal across sectors by using cloud, mobility, IoT and analytics. The underlying objective of these is to empower Indians with knowledge and Information digitally. It requires seamless integration of services across geographies, regions, departments and jurisdictions as well.
4) The Forecasts
5) Bright signs
During his recent visit to U.S, the prime minister was successful in evoking positive response from global giants like Google, Tesla, Qualcomm, Microsoft etc. for digital initiative which is necessary to transform this initiative into global precedent.
Following were some major announcements:
- Sundar Pichai-led Google will help bring wireless Internet or Wi-Fi to 500 railway stations across the country
- Microsoft’s Satya Nadella shared the company’s plan to help the government take low cost broadband to five lakh villages.
- Foxxconn has already started setting up a manufacturing base in India
A journey becomes memorable due to obstacles it encounters during its course. This journey too has its share of challenges. The government has to ensure smooth transition as presently there is a particular way in which the government departments function.
Making people understand the benefits of this change will take time, patience and courage. It should be complemented by bringing in synergy across the system.
The Road ahead..
Launch of various mobile apps by government like MyGov mobile app, Aadhar mobile digital app, Swachh bharat mission app etc reflect the intent and pace of work. As we embark on this journey of transformation, there is a hope and prayer in every Indian heart that we will realize our “sunhera kal” and reach our ultimate destination – Digitally empowered India!!