By Anurag Chawake
Essay on Digital India | Essay on Digital India in English, Overview, Benefits, Success and Failure
Digital India Essay Overview
In 2015, the Government of India launched a massive campaign named "Digital India". This was done to make the government services accessible in various parts of the country. The main aim was to improve access to technology to the people of the country.
The government worked on improving internet connectivity and made sure that it was easily accessible to the remote and rural parts of the country. One of the initiatives included a plan to connect the rural parts of the country with high-speed internet.
Digital India was launched on 1 July 2015, by the current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. The campaign drastically boosted the use of electronic services and products. The project is run by a Government entity called Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).
Objectives of Digital India
The massive campaign is divided into three parts which hope to achieve the following objectives:
- A stable, secure digital infrastructure connecting every part of the country
- Easy access to online government services (e-Governance)
- Digital literacy of the masses
The government of India wanted the rural public to make use of the internet and offer them access to various services online.
With a population of over 130 crores, India is the second-largest populated country after China. The actual meaning of digital infrastructure is in reference to platforms where the citizens of the country will have a digital identity which will allow them to access government services easily.
Under this initiative, almost all services are made available online such as managing a bank account, long-distance learning, signing up for various government portals, storing documents digitally, etc.
The project is also working on providing high-speed internet access to all the rural parts of the country. This will help them reap the benefits of the hundreds of project the government runs.
Digital India has introduced a large number of government services. Some of them are:
A platform where people share inputs and ideas on the administration’s policy and the overall governance. This is introduced so that citizens can actively participate in the process.
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In an effort to keep records of government employee’s attendance, the initiative was launched in Delhi and made use of a Biometric System to mark the employee’s attendance.
UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance)
It is an application developed for all mobile platforms and even works on feature phones. Available in multiple Indian languages, the application allows people to access services such as tax payment, railway ticket booking, education portals, a digital locker and a biometric identification system called AADHAR.
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This is an application that provides access to various hospital services such as online lab reports, payment gateway, book an appointment etc.
It is a service which allows the registered citizens to digitally sign a document using their AADHAR cards as a means of authentication.
A digital locker which helps citizens store all their government documents digitally. It is a cross-platform application developed to work across various branches of the administration. Since the documents are authenticated by the government itself, there is no need for citizens to carry a physical copy.
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This is a huge step undertaken by the Government of India to let rural people make use of the internet in order to improve the overall quality of life. A majority of the rural population did not have internet access until 2015.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi also undertook an initiative to make rural households digitally literate. The massive 2,351.38 crore project is an effort to cover approximately 6 crore households under its umbrella. The project, executed by a body known as PMGDisha (Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan), is hoping to achieve its target by the end of March 2019.
It will also help people connect with just the touch of a button. The government also wants to make digital payment platforms popular amongst businesses. This will facilitate more people to jump in on the digital platforms and ease doing business across various parts of the country.
The impact of the Digital India project
Digital India has a profound impact on people from every aspect of society. The campaign has had a positive impact on the life of the individual as a whole and has contributed to the progress of the society as a whole.
There are hundreds of programs under Digital India. One of the plans is aimed at creating 28,000 BPO jobs throughout the country and set up a "Common Service Center" in every gram panchayat.
This will also enable the government to generate thousands of IT jobs since Digital India will require individuals to help establish the platform as well as introduce a new wave of the young population to the digital revolution.
Till now, Digital India has connected more than 250,000 villages throughout the country. Every village covered, now has access to high-speed internet provided by a government-owned telecom called the BBNL.
The Indian Government also undertook 11 technological initiatives including boosting the volume of digital payments by encouraging several payment platforms such as PhonePe. It also encouraged the RuPay platform, an Indian company competing with the likes of MasterCard and Visa.
The Prime Minister said that if people start using RuPay, it will directly benefit the country. Since the infrastructure was not present at the moment, IT companies started hiring more people in order to develop one.
The campaign also led to an enormous decrease in the amount of black money people had. Since everything will be done digitally, many people came under the tax radar and as a result, a significant portion of the black money in the market was traceable. This led to a sudden increase in the revenue collected by the government in the following year.
People from all over India can now directly engage with a large number of government agencies from the comfort of their homes. For example, in the past, people used to travel for hours on end just to get to a hospital to realize that their doctor wasn’t available.
The rural part of India, which constitutes a majority of the population suddenly found themselves interconnected, directly benefiting millions of lives. Farmers can now intercommunicate and get help from the experts on a range of variety of subjects.
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Digital India- Success or failure?
Digital India is a work in progress in the truest sense. Though the project has surely made an impact on the common people of India, much of the work done is either inadequate or unsatisfactory at some level or the other.
However, the number of internet users in India has increased to a whopping 500 million users in the year 2017. Suddenly, the country has the highest rate of newly added monthly users, contributing almost 10 million people every day.
Surely, the government initiative has done much work in laying out the groundwork to a technologically advanced country, but the lack of awareness, literacy and infrastructure is getting in the way. The government hoped to cover more people under the umbrella of the scheme, but some parts of India are still unable to use the technology due to various reasons such as lack of resources or understanding.
The project can be considered to be successful in general terms but still remains a failure in the broader sense. Of course, campaigns like these take years if not decades and Digital India is still in its early stages.
The government is actively pushing the project and announced in the 2019 Union Budget that they will be working towards a $5 trillion digital economy in the near future.