Digital India Initiative

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated “Digital India Week 2022” and a Digital Expo at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

    About Digital India

    • Year: Launched in 2015. It is a Rs 1,13,000-crore flagship programme of the Government of India.
    • Vision: To transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
    • Vision Areas:
      • Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen
      • Governance & Services on Demand 
      • Digital Empowerment of Citizens
    • It was the seventh anniversary of launching the “Digital India” campaign, a flagship programme of the Central government.

    Significance of the Digital India campaign

    • Ending corruption: The Digital India campaign has helped save Rs 2.25 lakh crore from falling into the wrong hands in the past eight years.
    • Eliminating middle-men: Digital India has saved money for the common man by ending the network of middle-men
    • Transparency: the transparency that has come due to Digital India has eliminated corruption at various levels adversely affecting the poor and the middle class.
    • Direct Benefit Transfer: In the last eight years, more than Rs 23 lakh crore has been transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to beneficiaries.
    • The trio of Jan Dhan, Mobile and Aadhaar, or JAM: have provided maximum benefit to the poor and the middle class.
    • Finding missing children: Digital India has helped missing children reconnect with their parents.
    • Digital India helped the government tackle the crisis arising out of Covid pandemic: CoWin and Aarogya Setu are two mobile applications that helped provide 200 crore vaccine doses.
    • Ending digital divide: Digital India has also helped bridge the digital divide that exists between rural and urban India.

    Challenges 

    • The issues pertaining to taxation and other regulatory guidelines have proved to be roadblocks in advancing with the programme.
    • Digital divide
      • Currently, many villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity because their locations are not commercially viable for service providers.

    Steps taken by the Government towards this initiative

    • Supports Various Schemes: It has benefitted various schemes, launched after Digital India, including Diksha, eNAM, eSanjeevani solution for telemedicine, DigiBunai and PM SVANidhi scheme.
    • Digilocker: It has helped millions of people especially during the pandemic by providing a digital storage facility for school certificates, medical documents and other important certificates.
    • PM Kisan Samman Nidhi: Rs 1.35 lakh crore have been deposited directly into the bank account of more than 10 crore farmer families, and that Digital India has realised the spirit of One Nation, One MSP.
    • One Nation One Ration Card: The Supreme Court asked all the states to implement the initiative. This initiative is benefitting people who travel to other states for work.
    • PM WANI: Access points are being created so that rural youth can connect with high-speed internet for better services and education. Also, 5G technology will bring significant changes in the world, and India is preparing itself to make the most of this opportunity.
    • AtmaNirbhar Bharat: Digital India programme underscores the nation”s resolve for self-reliance (Atma Nirbhar Bharat).
    • Bharat Net: To provide high-speed broadband to all the villages, optical fibre has been laid in 1.83 lakh gram panchayats under Bharat Net. 

    Way Forward

    • PM launched a host of digital platforms and services: including myscheme, Meri Pehchan, Digital India Bhashini, Digital India Genesis, Chips to Start-ups and an e-book.
    • Fintech hub: GIFT City is emerging as a fintech hub.
    • India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI): has been appreciated by the World Bank and others. India conducts 1.3 lakh UPI transactions every minute.
    • Gujarat is the first state in the country to have a State Data Centre, Gujarat State Wide Area Network, e-gram centres and ATVT (Aapno Taluko Vibrant Taluko) scheme. The experiences in Gujarat have helped in using technology for governance after 2014.
    • The movement will be taken forward by leveraging futuristic technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and blockchain.

    Source:  IE