On July 1st 2015 the Government of India has launched Digital India, aiming to empower Lakhs of Indians in the country’s outmost corners to get connected with High speed internet networks. The aim is to boost the Indian economic growth and ensure all the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing the paperwork.
The aim of Digital India program is to transform the country into a digitally enabled society – empowered with economic knowledge and wisdom, the idea is to bring 2.5Lakh Gram Panchayats under broadband connectivity. The things to see under Digital India program worth of Rs 1 Lakh crore are Digital Locker System, E-health and National Scholarship Portal, E-Education.
The Digital India program aims to provide broadband highways, universal access to mobile connectivity, public internet access program, e-governance: Reforming government through technology, eKranti - Electronic delivery of services, Information for all, Electronics manufacturing: Target net zero imports, IT for jobs and early harvest programs.
Opportunities for Digital India
Five hundred million people will come together on the Internet. This has never happened before anywhere in the world. Poverty can be eradicated and new jobs can be created. Once we have this connectivity, education starts and things will change.
Data consumption will triple and consumers will be buying five times more content. This transformation will happen at an unprecedented pace. For Indian tele- companies, a world of value-creating opportunities is about to emerge.
The Digital India initiative could potentially translate into a business opportunity of $3-4 billion annually for the Indian IT industry, which already has the experience of implementing large scale and complex government projects in the country.
The Digital India vision opens up countless opportunities for the $146 billion Indian IT industry which till now was predominantly focused on the overseas market.
Challenges for Digital India
Digital India is about delivering reliable and scalable services among all sectors, improving administration, governance, communication, employment etc. Unfortunately, a lot of our existing apps are not geared towards cloud computing, open-source software and low-cost handheld terminals. We now need to essentially redo a lot of our e-governance applications with open source for cloud based systems and standardize for inter-operability.
We need to have national standards for birth certificate, police reports, land records and many other certificates and services. The real challenge is not to computerize age-old practices left behind by British Raj but to redesign existing processes to reflect new realities. Digital India has to initiate administrative reforms, judiciary reforms and process reengineering.
The challenge doesn’t end there; in fact it would begin when the implementation begins. Of the total 4 billion people who do not have internet access —India accounts for 25% of them. The study found that most people who don’t have Internet access live in the rural areas, in low income countries and are largely elderly and female. The report suggests that the major obstacles in Internet access in India are the same as the most pressing issues facing the country today: literacy, poverty and poor infrastructure.