Six Years of Digital India Programme | 02 Jul 2021

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Minister of India addressed a virtual event to mark the completion of six years of Digital Indian programme.

Key Points

  • Important Points of Address:
    • India’s Techade: The data and demographic dividend combined with India’s proven tech prowess presents massive opportunity for the country, and this decade will be ‘India’s techade’.
    • Highlighted Various Schemes of Digital India programme:
      • Diksha: It stands for Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing. It serves as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers. All teachers across the nation will be equipped with advanced digital technology.
      • eNAM: It was launched on 14th April 2016 as a pan-India electronic trade portal linking Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across the States.
      • eSanjeevani: It is a telemedicine service platform of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
      • DigiBunai: DigiBunai aids the weavers to create digital artwork and translate the saree design to be loaded to the looms. DigiBunai™ is a first of its kind Open Source software for Jacquard and dobby weaving.
      • PM SVANidhi scheme: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), for providing affordable loans to street vendors. It incentivises digital transactions by the street vendors.
    • Digital solutions during Covid-19: Contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu.
  • Digital India Programme: It was launched in 2015. The programme has been enabled for several important Government schemes, such as BharatNet, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, industrial corridors, etc.
    • Vision Areas:
      • Digital infrastructure as Utility to Every Citizen.
      • Governance and services on demand.
      • Digital empowerment of citizens.
    • Objectives:
      • To prepare India for a knowledge future.
      • For being transformative that is to realize IT (Indian Talent) + IT (Information Technology) = IT (India Tomorrow).
      • Making technology central to enabling change.
        • On being an Umbrella Programme – covering many departments.
    • Significant Achievements:
      • Digital Payments: The introduction of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which introduced the benefits of digital payments in every part of the country.
        • From flourishing businesses to modest street vendors, UPI is helping everyone with payments and transactions.
        • This also encourages a number of private players to provide alternatives for digital payments which completely transformed the Indian economy.
      • Easing the Operations of Businesses: The Electronic Customer Identification System (e-KYC), the Electronic Document Storage System (DigiLocker) and the Electronic Signature System (eSign) were introduced to help businesses streamline their operations.
      • Beyond the JAM Trinity: What started as a simple step to kick off the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) to weed out leakages in the system, today empowered the entire vaccination drive for Covid, making India only the second nation to USA that administered 20 crore vaccines.

Way Forward

  • There are many roadblocks in the way of its successful implementation like digital illiteracy, poor infrastructure, low internet speed, lack of coordination among various departments, issues pertaining to taxation etc. These challenges need to be addressed in order to realize the full potential of this programme.
  • As we celebrate the six years of completion of Digital India, here are the six concrete steps that can aid the digital transformation of the nation in the new normal for Digital 4.0 contributing to India’s success story and fulfilling the five trillion-dollar economy dream.
    • Inculcation of scientific temper, where perception doesn’t drive policy.
    • Access to data and lower costs of devices especially smartphones.
    • High speed technology and seamless connectivity (5G, 6G).
    • Quality and local language content.
    • A secure and safe cyberspace with clear spaces for redressal, ombudsmen, grievance redressal officers.
    • Renewable energy, seamless power supply, green technology and lastly more and more government services to be brought online with more departments talking to each other.
  • Tech solutions empowered by Digital India that has built the infrastructure for years together today serve as a basis for other emerging interventions in the fields of start-ups, digital education, seamless banking and payment solutions, agritech, health tech, smart cities, e-governance and retail management.

Source: IE