Digital India – Power to Empower India
Digital India is a visionary initiative of government of India to transform India by leveraging the power of Information Technology. It aims to empower the poor and the underprivileged by using technology which is affordable, developmental and inclusive.
India has emerged as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world with 7500 tech startups. The total revenue of IT industry was $167 billion and the exports were $125 billion. India is also among the top three global economies of digital consumers.
Under Digital India Programme, various initiatives have been undertaken towards providing digital identities, creating digital infrastructure, enabling digital delivery of services and promoting employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Some of the key indicators of digitization are:
- Internet penetration
- Availability of smart phones
- Number of devices that are connected with internet
It is expected that the number of devices connected to the IP networks would be approximately three times the global population by 2021. Emerging technologies are Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication, Big Data Analytics, Distributed Ledger Technologies (Block Chain).
To provide unique digital identity Aadhaar has covered around 122 crore residents of the country. It has provided a digital identity for delivery of various social welfare programmes. It has curbed leakages and corrupt practices from public welfare delivery mechanism. Financial entitlements under 434 government services are delivered using Aadhaar based Direct Benefit Transfer. Aadhaar is helping eliminate middlemen, ghosts, fakes and duplicates in schemes like PDS, PAHAL, MNREGA etc. Aadhaar is the first and biggest publically owned world’s largest biometric technology platform that has given fillip to Digital India programme.
Bharat Net also known as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims at provide high speed internet in rural areas of India by building optical fibre network connecting all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of the country. As on 3rd November2018, total of 1,19,947 gram panchayats are connected.
National Knowledge Network
National Knowledge Network (NKN) is state of the art network to promote collaboration and exchange of knowledge among educational and research institutions.
Meghraj (GI Cloud)
It is a cloud computing initiative aims to accelerate delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing the spending of the government.
eSign is an electronic signature service for allowing easy, efficient and secure signing of electronic documents by authenticating signer using e-KYC services. Digital signature is an online electronic signature service. The salient features of digital signature are non-repudiation, integrity and authenticity. The benefits of e-sign service are:
- Secure online service
- No physical verification required
- No need of hardware tokens
- Multiple ways to authenticate
- Privacy is preserved
The combination of 32.94 crore Jan Dhan accounts, 121 crore mobile phones and digital identity through 122 crore Aadhaar is helping the poor receive the benefits directly into their bank accounts.
- Financial entitlements under 434 government schemes are being delivered through direct benefit transfer.
- In the last five year a total of 5.09 lakh crore have been transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
- It has led to total saving of Rs 90000 crore for the government.
- According to a World Bank estimate, if Aadhaar is used in all welfare schemes, it will help save government about US $11 billion every year.
Over the past four years digital payment transaction have grown multifold from 316 crore transactions in 2014-15 to 2071 crore transactions in 2017-18. The popular digital payment instruments for sending and collecting payments are:
- Rupay Card
- BHIM-UPI: It is a unique mobile based payments innovation.
- AEPS: Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) deployed on a handheld device makes it possible for people to use their aadhaar and fingerprint to withdraw or transfer money at their doorstep.o
UMANG is a single mobile app that offers more than 307 government services. It aims to cover 1200 digital services in a single mobile app. It can be accessed in 13 different languages.
National Scholarship Portal
It has 1.08 crore students registered with scholarships with Rs 5295 crore disbursed in the last 3 years.
It is a Digital Life Certificate programme for ease of verification of pensioners using Aadhaar digital identity.
e-Hospital and online registration services aim to ensure that patients can get easy access to doctors. It is implemented in 318 hospitals.
Soil Health Card
National Soil Health Card Scheme was launched in 2015 to provide information on soil health digitally. So far 13 crore soil health cards have been issued.
Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which connects the existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) mandis to create unified national market for agricultural commodities.
DigiLocker provides access to a platform that stores various important documents like PAN, Aadhaar in digital form. It is possible to eliminate the need to carry any paper to avail government services.
eVisa is a complete online application for which no facilitation is required by any intermediary or agent. E-Tourist visa has been introduced for tourists coming from 164 countries.
eCourt mobile app and portal enables to one to keep track of status of cases ongoing in different courts across India.
National Judicial Data Grid
It is a comprehensive database of 9.16 crore court cases and 5.16 crore court judgements that has been integrated with eCourts.
Government eMarketplace is an online market place for government procurements.
Common Services Centres (CSCs)
Common Services Centres project was started in 2006. It is a vast network of more than 3.06 lakh of digital services delivery centres spread across 2.10 lakh gram panchayats. It has been created to provide access to digital services especially in rural areas at affordable cost. These centres have led to creation of jobs for 12 lakh people in rural areas. Over 300 services ranging from education, health, agriculture etc are provided in around 3.07 CSCs
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Sakshatra Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)
The PMGDISHA scheme is introduced to usher the digital literacy in rural India to cover 6 crore rural households.
BPO Promotion Schemes
To create employment opportunities for local youth and secure balanced regional growth of Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (ITES) sector in each state, India BPO Promotion Scheme and North East BPO Promotion Scheme have been launched under Digital India Programme.
Cyber Swachhta Kendra
To create an inclusive, safe and secure cyber space for sustainable development, the Cyber Swachhta Kendra has been set up to provide alerts to users for preventing losses of financial and other data. The World Economic Forum 2018 Risk report called out cyber risk as one of the top three risks along with environmental disasters.
Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP)
The aim of PMP is to widen and deepen the components manufacturing ecosystem in the country with major focus to enhance value addition and generate significant employment.
Challenges under Digital India
Challenges faced by tradition regulation of emerging technologies are:
- Pacing problem i.e. slow pace of regulation may become irrelevant
- Issues related to Data, Digital Privacy and Security, Data ownership etc.
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