Mr. Mohar V in conversation with Prittle Prattle News
The Internet has become so embedded in our day-to-day lives that it is hard to fully grasp the depth of its influence. Today, the seamless flow of data and information generates more economic value than anyone could have ever imagined. After Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) launched the public Internet in India, we have seen a massive transformation throughout the Indian landscape, whether it is our economic performance or the spread of education, healthcare, etc. As India joined the world in the digital race, socio-economic trends, driving and being driven by the Internet, favored India as well.
In this article, we will learn much more about Digital India and the impact it’s had on the country as a whole.
What is Digital India?
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. It also strives to make 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 a secure and stable digital infrastructure
- delivering government services digitally.
- achieving digital literacy
It was launched on 1 July 2015 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the objective of connecting rural areas with high-speed Internet networks and improving overall digital literacy among the population. The vision of the Digital India program is inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing, and boosting job opportunities.
The digital infrastructure allows users to access government services using a digital identity. They include various government portals and digitized documents. The project also provides high-speed internet access to rural areas, which helps them gain access to various government services.
Digital India Services
Digital India has introduced many government e-services across various domains for the welfare of the public . Some of them have been listed down below:
This platform allows citizens to share their ideas or views related to government administration plans directly with the PM. This has been introduced so that citizens can put forth their points of view and be more involved in the process.
l Digi Locker
The digital locker allows citizens to store all their government documents digitally in a secure virtual space. Citizens get access to a storage space of a maximum of 10MB by using their ‘Aadhar Card’ number. Since the documents have been verified by the Government, there is no requirement to carry hard copies for any government-related work unless specified.
l Bharat Net Programme
Under this scheme, the Government wants to establish and improve the internet services in rural areas in order to connect the ‘Gram Panchayats’ to the digital world. Our Government has specified licenses to some Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Reliance Jio, BSNL, Airtel, etc.. Under this project, around 250,000 ‘Gram Panchayats’ have been estimated to be empowered.
l National Scholarships Portal
Through this portal, students can apply for required scholarships, which are provided by the Indian Government. This helps in the submission of student applications, verifications, sanctioning and distribution of the scholarships, etc. The main goal of this scheme is to make faster and well-organized scholarship applications and transfer funds directly into accounts of the students through the process of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
This application helps in the overall improvement in awareness of health resources, health care centers, and hospitals by electronic means. The main goal is to keep the citizens of India healthy and informed. There are three main areas of e-health:
- the transfer of health-related information with the help of Internet and telecommunication
- the use of e-commerce to develop public health services
- to use e-commerce and e-business practices in health systems management
- The main advantages of e-health are:
- low costs
- easy accessibility
- provides anonymity to users.
e-education or online education has become one of the most popular ways of gaining access to education. It has perhaps revolutionized the way people perceive education as a whole. Through e-education, a student can watch the lecture whenever he\she chooses to. All you need is a smartphone or laptop and an internet connection.
In the 21st century, e-education has a distinctive capability of carrying out the act of education, unrestricted by time or place. The main advantages of e-education are:
- no classrooms
- 24*7 access to educational material
- reduced travel time.
- improved internet skills.
l Public Hotspots
A hotspot is a physical location that offers Internet access over a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) through the use of a router connected to an Internet Service Provider(ISP). Hotspots typically use WiFi technology. BSNL has taken this opportunity to deploy WiFi hotspots throughout the country. The citizens will be able to gain access to BSNL WiFi networks through their devices. Under the Digital India Programme, the Government will provide hotspots to the general public all over the country, free of cost.
l Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance(UMANG)
This mobile-based platform works on any smartphone and can be accessed in various regional Indian languages. It is an all-encompassing app that provides its users with a variety of services across various domains. The services include education portals, digital lockers, tax services, railway ticket booking, etc.
It is an app to help us achieve the goal of ‘Swacch Bharat,’ which can mainly be used by citizens and government organizations alike. The mobile-based application has been developed by National Informatics Center (NIC). This app can be used by smartphone users to report, photograph, or take videos of places where cleanliness is not being maintained as per the ‘Swacch Bharat’ standards. This, in turn, can help the sanitation department do their jobs immensely well and also take us closer to a cleaner and healthier ‘Bharat.’
Impact of Digital India
Digital India has indeed made a huge impact on people throughout the country. It has made a powerful impact on both the progress of society as well as the citizens. Out of a plethora of programs, one program specifically aims at creating almost 30,000 jobs in order to battle the plague of unemployment.
Analysts have predicted that the Digital India plan could uplift the Indian GDP by up to $1trillion by 2025. It could play an important role in macro-economic factors, which include employment generation, labor productivity, and GDP growth for the Government.
It also helps in improving the socio-economic status of our country. It provides easy access to all resources and services within a quick span of time. The absence of proper educational infrastructure in remote areas leads to a higher deprivation in the literacy rate. That is when e-services like e-education become imperative to reach out to those citizens. By using these digital platforms, farmers can get in touch with experts and gain insightful information regarding preferred crops, seed variety, valuable market information, etc.
These technological advances have a huge impact on the environment, as well. They help in reducing the carbon footprint by decreasing waste management, fuel consumption, paper consumption, etc. This, in turn, encourages greener ecosystems and also helps in saving natural resources.
The successful implementation of digital India will help the Government involve the citizens in a more well-organized way. A digital interface is convenient for both the Government as well as the citizens. As part of the digital agenda, the Government strives to make every family and every citizen digitally empowered.
The prime focus of this project is to transform India forever and prove the equation ‘IT+IT= IT’ which means,
‘India Today + Information Technology = India Tomorrow’