Digital India – Whom Does it Benefit?
Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India in order to ensure the Government’s services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India consists of three core components: the development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy. It was launched on 1 July 2015 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as BharatNet, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, industrial corridors, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, dedicated freight corridors, UDAN-RCS and E-Kranti.
The Digital Indian program was accepted by the Union Cabinet on 20th Aug 2014.
It was launched on 1 July 2015 by Shri Narendra Modi.
Division of Electronic and Information Technology (DeitY) is responsible for Digital India program and encompasses all the current schemes being run by the Telecommunications Division, Rural Growth Ministry and Deity.
The different projects under this scheme could see an investment of up to Rs 1, 00,000 lakh Crore by the Government over the next 3-4 years.
The National Optical Fiber Network which was launched by the UPA government but which didn’t have much progress during the last four years. It is expected to be the backbone of the entire project. The NOFN which was launched in 2011 had the aim of providing high speed internet to about 2 lakh gram panchayats in India at a cost of about Rs 20,000 Crore.This program involves about 20 ministries in the government
Digital India Mission is mainly focused on three areas:
- Providing digital infrastructure as a source of utility to every citizen.
- Governance and services on demand.
- To look after the digital empowerment of every citizen.
Digital India was established with a vision of inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing, and job opportunities.
Objectives of Digital India
The motto of the Digital India Mission is ‘Power to Empower’. There are three core components to the Digital India initiative. They are digital infrastructure creation, digital delivery of services, and digital literacy.
The major objectives of this initiative are listed below:
- To provide high-speed internet in all gram panchayats.
- To provide easy access to Common Service Centre (CSC) in all the locality.
- Digital India is an initiative that combines 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.
- The Digital India Programme also focuses on restructuring many existing schemes that can be implemented in a synchronized manner.
Benefits of Digital India
Removal of Black Economy
All the online transaction can be monitored easily and every payment made by any customer to any merchant will be recorded, this way there won’t be any illegal transactions and it’ll be impossible for people to hide their money. By restricting the cash-based transactions and using only digital payments, the government can efficiently expel the black economy.
Increase in Revenues
Another big advantage of digital India is that as the transactions get digitized, monitoring the sales and taxes becomes much more convenient, as the transactions are recorded, customers will now get a bill for every purchase that they make and merchants can now no longer escape from paying tax to the government, this results in increases of revenue of the government – thus resulting in growth of the overall financial status of the country.
Empowerment to the people
One of the biggest advantages of Digital India is that it gives an empowerment to the citizens. When the payments move digital, each and every individual is bound to have a bank account, a mobile phone, etc. This way, the government can easily transfer the subsidies directly to Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of people. In short, people no longer have to wait to receive the incentives and subsidies that they are bound to receive from the government. This feature is already in place in most cities. One example of this feature is LPG subsidy that government gives to the common people. This subsidy payment is now done via bank transfers these days.
Paves the way to e-governance
E-governance is a huge plus point for all the citizens, it is quicker, faster and safer when compared to traditional governance, with the help of e-governance, you can now get anything from birth certificate to death certificate immediately, this is convenient for people to access the information they need on the go.
Creation of new jobs
With the initiative of Digital India, there have been numerous ways to enhance job opportunities in new markets as well as increasing employment opportunities in existing markets, new markets have started hiring people, thus increasing the employment rate.
Other Advantages Include
- Creation of Digital Infrastructure and Electronic Manufacturing in Native India.
- Digital Empowerment of Native Indian People.
- Delivery of all Government Services electronically (E-Governance).
- A Digital Identification which will verify the end user.
- A Mobile for worldwide access to all services.
- A Bank account for Immediate Benefit Transfers of subsidies and payments.
- The program also aims to eliminate all electronics imports from foreign countries by 2020 and make India electronics manufacturing super power.
Challenges of Digital India
The government of India has taken an initiative through the Digital India Mission to connect the rural areas of the country with high-speed internet networks. Apart from the various initiatives taken by Digital India, there are several challenges faced by it.
Some of the challenges and drawbacks of Digital Mission are mentioned below:
- The daily internet speed, as well as the Wi-Fi hotspots, are slow as compared to other developed nations.
- Most of the small and medium scale industry has to struggle a lot for adapting to the new modern technology.
- Limited capability of entry-level smartphones for smooth internet access.
- Lack of skilled manpower in the field of digital technology.
- To look for about one million cybersecurity experts to check and monitor the growing menace of digital crime.
- Lack of user education.
Digital India Initiatives
The Government has taken up many initiatives under the Digital India campaign. Discussed below are few such important initiatives:
- DigiLockers – This flagship initiative aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of the citizen by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet
- E-Hospitals – It is a Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) which is a one-stop solution in connecting patients, hospitals and doctors through a single digital platform. Till February 2021, as many as 420 e-Hospitals had been established under the Digital India campaign
- E-Pathshala – Developed by NCERT, e-Pathshala showcases and disseminates all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals and a variety of other print and non-print materials through the website and mobile app
- BHIM – Bharat Interface for Money is an app that makes payment transactions simple, easy and quick using Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
Impact of Digital India Campaign
Since its launch in 2015, the Digital India campaign has left its impact in various fields:
- Around 12000 post office branches in the rural areas have been linked electronically.
- The Make in India initiative has improved the electronic manufacturing sector in India
- Digital India plan could boost GDP up to $1 trillion by 2025
- Healthcare and education sector has also seen a boost
- Improvement in online infrastructure will enhance the economy of the country
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