Digital India is a campaign started by the Indian Government to ensure that every government service is available to all the citizens electronically. This was to be achieved by providing internet connectivity and by making people digitally empowered all around the country. The movement includes plans to connect rural areas and urban areas through high-speed internet. The digital India movement has three main parts viz. The campaign was launched on the 1st of July, 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some of the key government schemes of the campaign are BharatNet, Make in India, Standup India, Bharatmala, E-Kranti, etc.
India is the next most populated land. As of December 2018, India had a population of 1.3 billion and 1.21 billion mobile phones. Of those mobiles, 446 million are smartphones. There are 560 million internet users around India, and there was an increase of about 31% internet users since 2017. The main objective of the campaign is to connect rural areas with high-speed internet coverage and improving digital literacy, which has been lacking in most parts of India. The campaign is seen as a success as the world has seen a rapid increase in the number of internet users in India. Also, many people are aware of the technology around them and know how to use them even in rural areas.
The rise in internet users in India made the country one of the most profitable digital market places. China, being the country with the highest population in the world, doesn’t allow for free internet. Many websites are restricted in China, and hence, it is not as appealing to the global markets. The next best alternative is a digital India, and due to this, India has seen a striking development in the number of E-companies pop up around the country. E-commerce companies such as Flipkart have risen. Many internet startups have made their way to success in India. Even Facebook, one of the giants around the world has taken up the initiative to provide free internet to rural India as this meant improving its user base. Today, Indians are the biggest user base on Facebook.
Many companies such as Apple, Netflix, Amazon have come into the Indian market after the country’s digital revolution. Centers such as E-Seva have been available to the public for accessing digital services of the country. All of this is a step in the right direction as India becomes more digitally mature. Many have also expressed concerns over the campaign despite the increase in e-commerce transactions and banks issuing over a billion new debit cards since its conception. This is because many Indians still rely on money transactions. But, every campaign has its downsides, and digital India has upsides that far outweigh them. 99% of Indians have Aadhar cards, which would have been impossible if not for this campaign. The digital India campaign is surely a very important movement for the development of India, and this has shown the country how powerful digital technology can be. More such attacks will surely take India towards complete development.
With anything 21st century, technology and the internet has wormed its way into existence and further affects the very way we human beings exist today. It is impossible to imagine our lives without this instant connectivity and information sharing and much of the world is hooked onto this virtual cyberspace. So it comes without a doubt that almost all new developments and opportunities find themselves presented in the latest technological platforms as a result of which sections of the society who are not exposed to these elements often miss out. So it came across as no surprise when the government of India decided to launch the Digital India initiative.
The digital India campaign is an initiative launched by the government of India to ensure that all the government services could be made available to the citizens through a digital platform. This campaign focused on bolstering the currently existing digital infrastructure and improving the quality of internet present to ensure ease of access. Digital India also focused on the primary need of providing good and secure internet connections in the rural areas of the country. The campaign is mainly focused on achieving three main criteria namely; development of digital infrastructure, delivering government services, and universal digital literacy.
The government also launched the Bharat net to help facilitate the easy implementation of this campaign. Some of the initiatives covered through this are digital lockers, e-education, e-health, e-sign, e-shopping, and national scholarship portal. The National Governance Plan was initiated to bring all the basic government services onto a common digital platform that can be easily accessed. MyGov.in is a platform for citizens to connect with the government and share their feedbacks and grievance. It consists of a Discuss’, ‘Do’ and a Disseminate’ section. UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Government) is a mobile platform that unifies all government services and provides free access across android, iOs, Window, and USSD platforms. Some of the inclusive facets that these provide areAADHAR, DigiLocker, bill payment system, PAN, travel and railway tickets, agriculture, certificates of birth, police clearance, passports, etc.
The e-Sign framework was introduced to let one digitally sign government documents online. A creative standpoint was to introduce the Swachh Bharat campaign through a mobile platform that would help in the government’s plan to achieve a cleaner surrounding. The e-hospital application process was introduced to fill in, make payments, and deal with other documentation processes involved with the hospitalization of a citizen. Digital attendance was launched by the Prime Minister to track the attendance status of government employees using biometric scanning machines rather than the old fashioned physical signature system. The government also plans to improve the job facilities available in the digital sector by promoting the growth and development of the BPO sector.
This program has seen a lot of positive response from surrounding Asian countries promoting better digital connectivity across the globe. This has also been favored by many Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google which has introduced various features to ensure better connectivity across the rural areas. Another aspect of Google’s plan is to introduce wireless connectivity across all railway platforms.