On July 1st 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital India programme to reform governance through technology. The Digital India vision is centred on three key areas – Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen, Governance & Services on Demand and Digital Empowerment of Citizens. It also aims at inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc.
Digital India is an ambitious programme of the Government of India to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy, projected at Rs. 1,13,000 crores.
The programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and will impact Ministry of Communications & IT, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Health and others. It will also benefit all states and union territories.
Digital infrastructure will focus on providing high speed secure Internet. Governance and services on demand will stress on integrating services across departments and jurisdictions and making services available in real time for both online and mobile platform.
Digital empowerment of citizens will pay emphasis on universal digital literacy and availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages. The programme will be implemented in phases from 2014 till 2018.
During the Digital India Week(1st – 7th July, 2015) a slew of projects and policies were announced.
Here is the list of important announcements:
Digital Locker System – It aims to minimize the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents will be done through registered repositories thereby ensuring the authenticity of the documents online.
MyGov.in – It has been implemented as a platform for citizen engagement in governance, through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach. It also has a mobile App, which would bring these features to users on a mobile phone.
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app – It would be used by people and Government organisations for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission.
eSign framework – It would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.
Online Registration System (ORS) – It has been introduced under the eHospital application. This application provides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online etc.
National Scholarships Portal – It will be a one stop solution for end to end scholarship process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the Government of India.
Digital India Platform - DeitY has undertaken an initiative namely Digitize India Platform (DIP) for large scale digitization of records in the country that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
Bharat Net – It is a high speed digital highway to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre.
Next Generation Network (NGN) - BSNL has introduced Next Generation Network (NGN), to replace 30 year old exchanges, which is an IP based technology to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia/ video and other types of packet switched communication services.
Wi-Fi hotspots - BSNL has undertaken large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. The user can latch on the BSNL Wi-Fi network through their mobile devices.
Policy initiatives have also been undertaken by DeitY in the e- Governance domain like e-Kranti Framework, Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India, Framework for Adoption of Open Source Software in e-Governance Systems, Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Government of India, E-mail Policy of Government of India, Policy on Use of IT Resources of Government of India, Policy on Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications, Application Development & Re-Engineering Guidelines for Cloud Ready Applications
BPO Policy has been approved to create BPO centres in different North Eastern states and also in smaller towns of other states.
Electronics Development Fund (EDF) Policy aims to promote Innovation, R&D, Product Development and to create a resource pool of IP within the country to create a self-sustaining eco-system of Venture Funds.
National Centre for Flexible Electronics (NCFlexE) is an initiative of Government of India to promote research and innovation in the emerging area of Flexible Electronics.
Centre of Excellence on Internet on Things (IoT) is a joint initiative of Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), ERNET and NASSCOM.
Link to Part 2: Overview of Digital India (1st - 7th July) - Part 2