Digital India is one of the flagship programmes of the present government. Headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Digital India scheme is meant for a digital future for India. The programme has several pillars and methodologies for the benefit of the country. Most important, Digital India Programme brings a new hope for the betterment of the citizens of the country.
As you might be aware, as of June 2017, there are almost 450 million internet users in India. A lot of the credit also goes to the PM Modi’s digital India programme and its initiatives. The data prices in the country has fallen drastically after increased competition in the telecom sector. Add to that, the cost of smartphones also going down day by day. Thus, more and more people in the rural as well as urban India are being able to access the internet on a daily basis.
Vision of the Digital India Programme
As the Digital India website states –
The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy
The focus of the Digital India campaign is to enforce e-governance on a majority of government sectors. This is to be done in order to simplify the ease of filing taxes, applications, petitions, knowing status of work and several other vital functions. The elimination of paperwork and clerical formalities will also bring about a positive change in the corruption issues of India.
The main vision of the Digital India program is to transform the entire public services ecosystem by efficiently utilising Information Technology.
How is The Government Approaching the Digital India Vision?
At the central level, several steps have been taken to ensure the Digital e-governance be utilised at the state. For the same, some key parameters have been defined by the government. Here are some of the approach and methodologies that the Government of India has adopted in order to enforce Digital India:
- All the states will be able to leverage the support of the ICT infrastructure established by the Government of India.
- The existing systems will be realigned and revamped with the e-governance principles of the GoI.
- Process Reengineering, Scope enhancement, use of integrated & interoperable systems and deployment of emerging technologies like cloud & mobile would be undertaken to enhance the delivery of Government services to citizens.
- States will have the flexibility to opt for inclusion and for additional state specific projects, which are relevant for their soci0-economic needs.
- Successes would be identified and their replication promoted proactively with the required productization and customisation wherever needed.
- Wherever it will be feasible, Private public partnerships will also be fostered to provide enhanced and advanced services to the public with optimum management and quality control.
- NIC will be restructured at central and state levels to strengthen the Information technology infrastructure in the country.
- The position of CIO (Chief Information Officer) will be created in at least 10 key ministries. This is to facilitate the rapid expansion and implementation of e-governance policies.
Here is a video of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in San Jose about Digital India
Pillars of Digital India Project by the Indian Government
Government of India has planned for several pillars that will govern the operations of Digital India Program. The program is an umbrella that combines various schools of thoughts and strategies under one roof. The combination of all the strategies form the various pillars of Digital India programme. Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes. Each of these areas is a complex programme in itself and cuts across multiple Ministries and Departments.
Pillars of Digital India Programme
- Broadband Highways
- Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
- Public Internet Access Programme
- e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology
- e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services,
- Information for All
- Electronics Manufacturing
- IT for Jobs
- Early Harvest Programmes
The above areas have been defined by the Government of India as the focus nine pillars for the digital india program.
All the programs are kept under stringent time targets for implementation by the GoI. The pillars that are kept under early completion program are the “Information for All” and the “Early Harvest Programmes”. Considerable work has already been began under these programs.
To seek the complete support of the citizens, a website called mygov.in has also been formed. Furthermore, this digital india website provides a digital india sign in option to the citizens and contribute & witness the growth happening at the central and state levels. Moreover, several workshops and consultations have also been held by the GoI to discuss the implementation approach of the vision areas of Digital India.
About E-Kranti: Electronic Delivery of Services
E-Kranti is a flagship strategy under the digital india program. Most important, this is an initiative to optimise and ease the delivery of public services across different sectors. Many e-governance initiatives have been taken at State ministry and central ministry levels. The e-Governance in India has evolved from computerization of Government Departments to initiatives that encapsulate the finer points of Governance, such as service orientation, citizen centricity, and transparency.
National eGovernance Plan
The National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) had 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components, on May 18, 2006. 4 more mission mode projects namely ‘Education’, ‘Health’, ‘Posts’ and ‘Public Distribution System’ were added to NeGP portfolio in 2011. State Wide Area Network, State Data Centers,Mobile Seva, State Service Delivery Gateways and eGov AppStore were created under NeGP. More than 1.2 lakh Common Service Centers were made operational as service delivery outlets across all the States/UTs.
Management Structure of Digital India Project
The management structure of the digital India project contains a monitoring committee headed by the Prime Minister of India, a Digital India Advisory Group chaired by the Minister of Communications and IT and an Apex Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
The main components of the programme management committee are:
Monitoring Committee headed by Prime Minister of India
The monitoring committee will be presided over by the PM of the country. Representations will be drawn from the relevant cabinets/ministries of different states and departments.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for programme level policy decisions.
Digital India Advisory Group headed by the Minister of Communications and IT
This is formed in order to seek opinions and views from different external stakeholders. Furthermore, the composition of the Advisory Group would include representation from the Planning Commission and 8 to 9 representatives from States/UTs and other Line Ministries/Departments on a rotational basis.
An Apex Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary would be overseeing the programme and providing policy and strategic directions
Here were some details about the Digital India program started by the Indian government. The hopes are held high and the strategies are clear. However, it will be notable if there will be any Digital India rewards to the citizens of the country or not.
In the recent years, startups and coworking have been getting the attention of the central government. However, the contribution of the Government into the startup ecosystem is yet to be quantified.