ON JULY 1, PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHED HIS PET and very ambitious ‘Digital India’ initiative formally though it has been operational incrementally in some forms like ‘MyGov’ and others in past several months. Befitting to the occasion, Prime Minister Modi eloquently worded his dream about this initiative.
“I dream of a DIGITAL INDIA where: High-speed Digital Highways unite the Nation… 1.2 billion Connected Indians drive Innovation… Knowledge is strength and empowers the People… Access to Information knows no barriers… Government is Open – and Governance Transparent… Technology ensures the Citizen-Government Interface is Incorruptible Technology ensures the Citizen-Government Interface is Incorruptible … Government Services are easily and efficiently available to citizens on Mobile devices…: Government proactively engages with the people through Social Media… Quality Education reaches the most inaccessible corners driven by Digital Learning… Quality Healthcare percolates right up to the remotest regions powered by e-Healthcare … Farmers are empowered with Real-time Information to be connected with Global Markets… Mobile enabled Emergency Services ensurePersonal Security… Cyber Security becomes an integral part of our National Security… Mobile and e-Banking ensures Financial Inclusion… e-Commerce drives Entrepreneurship ….the World looks to India for the next Big Idea… the Netizen is an Empowered Citizen.”
Digital India initiative encompassing three broad areas (Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen, Governance & Services on Demand and Digital Empowerment of Citizens) is focused on harnessing the power of technology to help India transform through nine programs. According to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, “We believe that the democratizing force of software and digital technology will enable India’s future innovators and entrepreneurs to purse their dreams, Indian businesses to transform and seize the opportunities ahead and enable the talent and ingenuity of the human capital in India to thrive.”
India, having the largest school-going population in the world, is on the cusp of a learning revolution. Children of today are digital natives but education has not kept pace with this technology adoption. The divide between urban and rural India is even more stark. The “Digital India Initiative” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most awaited initiative with a long term vision for both rural and urban India. It aims to connect the whole country. As per Sameer Bora of Next Education, “ Solving basic problems of bandwidth, pricing, access devices and coverage will allow the whole of India to take part in this learning revolution. In conjunction with the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, education companies are expected to roll out products that can benefit society at large.”
The estimated impact of Digital India by 2019 would be cross cutting, ranging from broadband connectivity in all Panchayats, Wi-Fi in schools and universities and Public Wi-Fi hotspots. The programme will generate huge number of IT, Telecom and Electronics jobs, both directly and indirectly. Success of this programme will make India Digitally empowered and the leader in usage of IT in delivery of services related to various domains such as health, education, agriculture, banking, etc. Let’s prepare to be there.