Digital India Initiative from 2014:
It’s one of the flagship schemes of the NDA govt. It has the aim of making India a digitally empowered economy and a knowledge society by 2019.
It has 3 major components:
a. Digital empowerment of citizens:
● Universal digital literacy: For this, Universal Digital Literacy Mission is being run which had the initial target of digital literacy for 1 crore citizens for a three year period 2014-2017. This target was achieved much before target and the new target was set at 6 crore by 2018-19 and universal digi literacy by 2022.
● A ‘cradle to grave unique Digi-ID’ to all citizens
● Availability of digital services in local languages or via bilingual platforms
b. Digital Infrastructure:
● Creating broadband highways, recognizing high-speed internet as a core utility. The NOFN or Bharatnet aims to connect all 2,50,000 gram panchayats via high speed optical fiber network. The timeline was earlier fixed for end of 2017 but had to be postponed to March 2019.
● Public Internet Access Programme: For this, the government is executing the idea of universally accessible digital resources to all via CSCs, e-kiosks, e-choupals etc. (Many of these e- kiosks have been setup by private actors. For example the corporate ITC launched their program called ‘e-choupal’ in the year 2000 for supporting agricultural producers in 4 crops namely coffee, shrimp, soyabeans and wheat. Today this program has 6000+ e-kiosks in 40000 villages of 10 states, helping 40lakh farmers. TARAhaat in UP and Drishtee in MP are other private e-kiosk projects.)
● For boosting Public Internet access in villages, the Government of India has launched the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital Village scheme’, also known as ‘e-gram digital’ which is a kind of rural version of the digital India initiative. it focuses on telemedicine and tele education, apart from overall e-banking and E Service Delivery platforms. The Maharashtra government launched a parallel scheme known as ‘digi-gram scheme’ with ‘DG gram app’. Five villages in Nagpur district became first digi-grams in India in May 2016, with 4 mbps digital highway connecting each such village and also connecting each family to the Primary Health Care Centre and district hospital for telemedicine services.
● Making digital resources available to all government departments. E,g, Meghraj the national cloud storage system, which is providing cloud storage and processing support to all govt departments
● All citizen entitlements to be portable and available on cloud (e.g. Digi-locker, no requirement to submit physical documents)
c. Governance & Services on demand
● SMART governance and doorsteps governance for providing government goods and service delivery to all. The idea of Ease of governance leading to ease of living for citizens, via e-gov, e.g. ‘Phone-a-shayak’ (kind of ‘Dial-a-service for doorstep delivery’) scheme of Govt of NCT of Delhi and similar initiative of Meghalaya Govt, both launched around Sept 2018.
● Single window systems for citizen services e.g. My Gov.in, Mee-Seva (AP/Telangana), Projevt Jeevan (Delhi) etc wherein under Jeevan more than 80 common citizen service sare offered on a single platform via a ‘anytime, anywhere, one-stop shop’.
● Availability of services in real time from online and mobile platforms e.g. UMANG, BHIM, Hawk-eye (Hyderabad), City Mobile App (Mysore).
● Seamlessly integrated services across departments and jurisdictions e.g. under CPGRAMS, a citizen can submit online grievances even against multiple employees of multiple govt departments/agencies in a user-friendly manner at one portal. Projects like ‘Operation Smile’ and ‘Track Child’ do away with the historic problem of jurisdictional confusion that caused harassment to citizens while dealing with Police agencies.