India has seen a series of new, positive policy launches since 2014. The Digital India programme was one of those critical policies which came our way. It was launched with the goal of making India a digitally empowered society.
The Digital India programme made sure that maximum of the government services were digitised and were delivered to citizens electronically. It also aimed at improving public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s electronic unique IDs and e-Pramaan based on authentic, integrated government application.
Let us first look at the major projects undertaken by the Modi government under this programme.
1. Digital Locker System is a project which aims to minimise the use of physical documents and to enable the citizens to share the e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents is possible through registered repositories which ensure the authenticity of online documents.
2. MyGov.in is implemented as a platform for citizen engagement in governance. For this, the government has taken a “Discuss,” “Do” and “Disseminate” approach.
3. Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app can be used by people and government organisations to achieve the mottos of Swachh Bharat Mission.
4. eSign framework enables citizens to sign a document online by using Aadhaar authentication.
5. The Online Registration System (ORS) has been introduced to offer essential services like online registration, payment of fees, appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online and many more.
6. National Scholarships Portal is a 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.
7. Digitise India Platform (DIP) is launched for the large-scale digitisation of records in the country and facilitate well-organised delivery of services to the citizens.
8. Bharat Net is a high-speed digital highway to connect the 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of the country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project which uses optical fiber.
Highlights of Digital India
- More than 12,000 rural post office branches are linked digitally.
- The government plans to make every village a ‘digital village’ by linking all the schemes through technology. The ‘digital village’ will also be powered by LED lighting, solar energy, skill development centers and services like e-education and e-health.
- The progressive policies and focus on ‘Make in India’ have played a significant role in the resurgence of the electronic manufacturing sector.
Economic Impact of the Digital India Programme
According to the economic analysts, the Digital India programme can boost GDP by around $1 trillion by 2025. It can also be detrimental to play a key role in macro-economic factors like employment generation, labor productivity, business development, and revenue generation.
According to the World Bank report, 10% growth in mobile and broadband penetration upsurges the per capita GDP by 0.81% to 1.38% in developing countries. At present, India is the 2nd largest telecom and world’s 3rd largest Internet market with almost 259 million broadband users. This shows that there is a tremendous economic opportunity in India because the teledensity in rural India is merely 45% while more than 65% of the population lives in the villages.
Social Impact of the Digital India Programme
The social sectors like education, healthcare, and banking were initially unable to reach out to most of the citizens because of the obstructions and limitations of middleman, illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, insufficient funds and so on. These challenges have resulted in an imbalanced growth within rural and urban areas with a remarkable difference concerning the economic and social status of the natives. Through the Digital India programme, the government aims to bridge this gap and enhance the status of livelihood in rural India.
Also, the poor literacy rate in India is the result of the unavailability of physical infrastructure in rural areas. This is where the e-Education services can play a crucial role by taking education to the rural masses. The Digital India project will help to provide real-time education and partially address the lack of teachers in education systems through virtual classrooms.
Other than this, mobile and internet banking can enhance the financial inclusion and create a win-win situation for everybody in the value chain by creating an inter-operating ecosystem and revenue sharing business models.
In addition to this, grave problems like increasing population, poor doctor-patient ratio, high infant mortality rate, increasing life expectancy, lesser physicians, etc, can be solved through digital solutions.
Other than this, the digital platforms can also help the farmers to make the farmers aware of the crop choice, seed variety, weather, plant protection, cultivation practices, and market information.
After taking a review of the impacts of the Digital India programme, it's clear that being digitally connected can help Indians in many ways. However, we cannot ignore the fact that this programme can work more effectively only if the factors like literacy, basic infrastructure, overall business environment, regulatory environment, are efficiently developed.
Since the last four years, the Modi government has set up good grounds for the efficient application of this much-needed programme.
We at Deshpee are proud of such policies by our honourable Prime Minister and hope that this programme helps India transform into a developed country.
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Featured image is via kremlin.ru