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Transforming India: India's Digital Transformation

  • 03 Oct 2023
  • 12 min read


India today is the world’s largest digitally connected democracy, with 830 million Internet users. Digital transactions have grown manifold in recent years, making India the undisputed leader in real time digital payments.

The widespread adoption of smartphones and affordable mobile data plans has also contributed to the growth of India's digital economy. E-commerce, mobile payments, digital banking, healthcare, tourism, and business are some of the sectors that have seen significant growth in recent years.

What accelerated Digital Transformation in India?

What is the Digital India Programme?

  • The Digital India program, launched in 2015, aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge-based economy.
  • Its key objectives include strengthening digital infrastructure, delivering services digitally, and promoting digital financial inclusion.
  • As a result of dedicated digital drives across the country, internet subscriptions have increased by 150% in both rural and urban areas.
    • As per the data, 95.76 million internet subscribers were added in rural areas, while 92.81 million were added in urban areas between 2019-2021.
  • Digilocker which was launched under this programme has witnessed over 16 crore registrations. Users can share and access any documents and certificates digitally since its launch.

What is Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Sakshata Abhiyan?

  • PMGDSB was launched in 2017 and is promoting digital literacy in rural India.
  • The PMGDSA has resulted in improved accessibility, connectivity, affordability, and inclusivity pan-India.
  • It has trained 5.96 crore candidates and certified 4.44 crore students in digital literacy. It’s the world’s largest digital literacy programme under which so far 6.92 crore candidates have been registered.

How is Digital Technology Impacting Different Sectors in India?

  • Healthcare:
  • Tourism:
    • Another sector that has seen a profound transformation as a result of the digital revolution is tourism and travel.
    • The internet has played a pivotal role in revolutionising how people explore, plan and experience travel.
    • From online bookings to virtual tours and travel content creation the internet has become an indispensable tool for travelers.
  • Businesses:
    • Digital payments have transformed businesses by simplifying the payment process, reducing operational work, and increasing productivity.
    • The rapidly expanding digital payments landscape has transformed businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, by simplifying the payment process.
    • Nowadays, businesses are able to save both time and money, while also concentrating on their core competencies. This is made possible by offering digital payment options, which enable them to tap into a larger market and attract new customers.

What is the Current Scenario of India’s Digital Payments?

  • India’s Digital Payment Revolution:
  • UPI Takes the Lead in Global Digital Payments:
    • India leads the world in digital payments with 89.5 million transactions in 2022 with UPI emerging as a revolutionary product. As per the data, India accounted for 46% of global real time payments in the year.
      • Brazil was second on the list followed by China, Thailand and South Korea.
      • The exponential growth is reflected in the fact that digital payment transactions in India are more than the other four leading countries combined.
    • UPI transactions are on course to reach 1 billion a day by 2025 accounting for 90% of retail digital payments in the country.
  • Traditional Payment Methods:


  • In Feb 2023, India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow were integrated to enable faster Remittances between the two countries.

How is India Addressing Data Protection in the Digital Age?

  • India has passed the Landmark Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 to ensure the safety and trustworthiness of the digital world.
  • The Bill aims to safeguard personal data from misuse and enable the flow of global tech-based investments, making the sector a key driver in India's journey towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy.
  • The bill ushers in a new era in India’s digital development journey, one which recognises the value and centrality of personal data in today’s globally interconnected digital economy and also takes cognizance of the need to safeguard such personal data from misuse.

What is India's Global Vision for Digital Transformation?

  • India's digital transformation journey has impacted every aspect of society, ensuring digital access, digital delivery of services, and digital inclusion for all, based on sustainable, affordable, and transformative technology.
  • Pushing this transformation to the rest of the world, India has called for a governance framework and digital public infrastructure at the G20 to ensure that it is accessible to all countries equally.
  • Data for development is an integral part of the overall theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” i.e.Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, during India’s G20 presidency.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Consider the following: (2022)

  1. Aarogya Setu
  2. CoWIN
  3. DigiLocker

Which of the above are built on top of open-source digital platforms?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only 
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (d)

Q. Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India? (2018)

  1. Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did.
  2. Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centres within our national geographical boundaries.
  3. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places and major tourist centres.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 3 only 
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Q. Regarding ‘DigiLocker’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2016)

  1. It is a digital locker system offered by the Government under Digital India Programme.
  2. It allows you to access your e-documents irrespective of your physical location.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)


Q. “The emergence ofthe Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) hasinitiated e-Governance as an integral part of government”. Discuss. (2020)

Q. How can the ‘Digital India’ programme help farmers to improve farm productivity and income? What steps has the Government taken in this regard? (2015)

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