Towards an Inclusive and Empowered Nation

Why digitalization is important?

1. Digital Economy is a key driver for global economic growth in the 21st century and will also address common global challenges (energy, environment and inequality).

2. Digital technologies enhance efficiency.

3. So, “Digital India” initiative was launched to transform India using information technology. It aims to achieve inclusive growth and empowerment of the ordinary citizens.

4. Digital India Programme can help India achieve high growth of its Digital Economy to reach a level of trillion Dollars by 2025.

What is the current status of the Indian IT industry?

1. India has a thriving IT industry with business in more than 80 countries.

2. India, in Phase-I, provided IT professionals and companies to the phase and in Phase-II global IT giants started investing in India. Now, in Phase-III India is witnessing growth in innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraged by the government.

3. Total revenue of IT industry in India was $167 billion in the year 2017-18.

How Digital India promotes Employment, Entrepreneurship & Empowerment?

1. Digital Service delivery near door-step (Common Services Centres/ CSCs):

a) CSCs help on digital inclusion in small towns and villages. It has created jobs for over 12 lakh people (out pf which 61,055 are women).

b) Stree Swabhiman initiative under CSCs has provided knowledge about health to rural women and also provided them livelihood opportunity.

2. Digital Literacy for the Masses:

a) Under the schemes National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) and DISHA, 53.5 lakhs persons were trained and certified in Digital Literacy.

b) A new scheme “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) to usher digital literacy in rural India is also started.

3. BPO promotion in small towns: 

It aims to create employment opportunities for local youth and growth of Information Technology in each state of India.

4. Digital India for make In India:

Various initiatives are taken to promote electronics manufacturing (mobile handsets, LCD/LED TVs, etc) in India to reduce imports.

5. Initiatives in Emerging Technologies: 

Centres of Excellence (CoE) are being set up in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Internal security, Agriculture and Environment, Medical Tech, Block Chain, etc.

6. Cyber Security:

 Cyber Swachhta Kendra and National Cyber Coordination Centre have been set up to ensure cyber security.

Which other ICT-based initiatives promote inclusiveness?

1. Digital Identity: Aadhar which has covered around 122 crore residents of the country, has provided a digital identity to supplement the physical identity of individuals. It has helped in financial entitlements under 434 Government services and has curbed leakages and corrupt practices.

2. Bharat Net: It aims to provide high-speed internet in the rural areas by building an optical fibre network.

3. National Knowledge Network: It provides a state-of-the-art network to promote the exchange of knowledge among various educational institutions using applications like virtual classrooms.

4. GI cloud (Meghraj): Using Cloud Computing, eGov applications are utilised in an optimum way.

5. eSign: eSign Electronic signature service helps in easy, efficient and secure signing of electronics documents like Digital Locker, vehicle registration, birth certificates, etc.

6. JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile) Trinity for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) – The combination of Jan Dhan Bank accounts, mobile phones and digital identity through Aadhar has helped the poor receive the benefits directly in their bank accounts.

7. Digital payments: Digital payments transactions has increased highly in India and applications like BHIM-UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and RuPay debit cards are widely used.

8. UMANG: It provides a single mobile app for 307 government services.

9. Digital delivery of services: Services like National Scholarship Portal, Jeevan Pramaan (for ease of pensioners), eHospital, Soil Health card, eNAM (Electronic National Agricultural Market), Digi Locker (which provides access to various certificates in digital format), eVisa, eCourts, National Judicial Data Grid and GeM (Government eMarketplace) provide delivery of various services digitally.