Economics · Governance · Public Policy · Strategy · Technology

Flaws And Strenghts Of Digital India (Governance And Services On Demand)

Neha Verma elaborates upon the Digital India Program/Policy introduced by the Union Government, along with exploring the incidents of such an initiative and the possible success rates as to its implementation. 

She also comments upon the scale of utility of such a program at the helm of the rural citizenry, thus projecting a possible drawback of the program, if instituted.

 

It is a promising step made by acknowledged people to make India’s digitally empowered future. 

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has started an initiative referred as ‘Digital India’, that aims to transform country and create opportunities for all citizens by harnessing digital technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing etc. The Prime Minister inaugurated the 1.13 lakhs crores worth project on 1st July.

Shri Narendra Modi, focusing on transformation, says –

IT + IT = IT. Indian Talent + Information Technology = India

It is similar to an umbrella approach that covers all the departmental areas. It comprises of various small goals that are comprehensively combined to accomplish large objectives.

Digital India is the pet effort of the Central, as well as, the State governments that is co-ordinated by the DeitY (Department Of Electronics And Information Technology). This programme aims to synchronize various existing small progammes, and pool them together and restructure them to give a larger picture.

NINE PILLARS OF DIGITAL INDIA

1. Broadband Highways : This aims to provide internet connectivity to 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, throughout the country, via national optical fiber network (NOFN). It also provides the internet access for rural, urban and national information infrastructure under the DeitY (Department Of Electronics And Information Technology).

2. Public Internet access : This helps to cover the common service centers of India from 1.35 lakhs to 1.5 lakhs costing Rs. 4750 cores.

3. Universal Access to Mobile connectivity : This aims to give mobile access in the country by 2018 year to approx. 44,000 uncovered villages. Increase in network penetration and coverage of the large gaps will help to make this happen. Government budgets 16, 000 crores for this purpose and is under the Department of Telecom.

4. E-Governance : Re-engineering will be undertaken to improve processes and service delivery by using the various ways like tracking of applications, form simplification, implying workflow automation inside the government, using IT to respond, automate, analyze data to identify and resolve persistent problems.

5. E-Kranti : This aims to provide the electronic delivery of the goods and services for the various sectors like health, education, farming, security, justice, financial inclusion etc.

6. Global Information : This aims to provide the two – way information exchange between citizens and Government by using the social media and web-based platforms like mygov.in. It also gives opportunity for online web hosting by open platform databases.

7. Electronics Manufacturing : For strengthening the goals, we need to handle all the progammes and fine-tune them. It targets net –zero imports that are the striking demonstration of the intent. 

8. IT Training for Jobs : It aims to train about 1 crore of the students from the small towns and villages for participating in the IT sector. This is to be covered by the DeitY sector for small villages, which budgets for 200 cores. 

9. Early Harvest Programmes : This will ensure the attendance of all the employees of the Central Government by the Adhaar enabled biometric attendance system. The application software will store the attendance record and help to make accurate computations. 

 

CONCLUSION

Although, it seems to be effective, but the initiative will raise many questions about inclusion, feasibility, implementation, expense, desirability, data privacy and surveillance.

Digital India, that aims to make direct communication between government agencies over the internet, requires the secure storage space for handling various activities securely, which the Government calls “DIGITAL Lockers” .

Now, the another question arises : Are the digital lockers to be used for the office documentation reliable? Also, how the corporate companies that are investing in this initiative will recover their expenditure? Will the government be able to achieve mass surveillance by DI?

In India, majority of the people doesn’t have access to internet electricity or most of the basic health services, and so, the DI initiative seems to be geared merely for the affluent and urban areas. Research shows that India has one billion people without Internet access that consists of 25% of the world’s total ratio.

About 37% of adult Indians are illiterate that equates to 287 million people—the highest number in the world. The report notes that such a high illiteracy rate acts as a major roadblock in expanding internet connectivity. Awareness about the Internet and ability to operate a computer is low among Indians, adding to the worries.

Although flamboyant initiative of DI is versatile but these little drawbacks leads to disappointment. However, at least in its stated intent, the DI initiative seems to want to include rural India. It promises to create broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakhs panchayats by the end of 2016.

Government’s aggressive push for the E-governance is vital and of utmost concern in order to develop India as the Powerful country. The ¼ of the Indian budget has been calculated to DI initiative, empowering the large companies, as well as, small entrepreneurs by providing them with large high-scale jobs.

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