Q. What are the challenges involved in the implementation of the Digital India programme? How can we overcome the same? (150 words).25 Jan, 2019 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance
- Discuss the challenges facing digital india programme
- Discuss the steps that can be taken to overcome the same
- The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- Digital illiteracy:
- Where there is still 25 % illiteracy the target of high level of digital illiteracy is one of the biggest challenge. According to ASSOCHAM-Deloitte report on Digital India, November, 2016, around 950 million Indians are still not on internet.
- India has 1600 languages and dialects. Non availability of digital services in local Languages is a great barrier in digital literacy.
- Financial: Though there are resources with India but there is a huge capital cost which is to be invested and the fruits of the investment will be received after few years.
- Integration of various government departments, need to be done which has technical as well as corporate issue.
- Also the middle man policy will be eliminated completely, hence there will be imminent resistance from the working staff.
- Security: There is cyber threat all over the globe and digital India will not be any exception. Hence we need a strong anti cyber crime team of about 1 million trained cyber security professionals by 2025.
- Infrastructural: India’s digital infrastructure is comprehensively inadequate to tackle growing increase in digital transactions. The challenge faced by the programme is slow and delayed infrastructure development.
- Electronics Manufacturing: India stands to import three quarters of the $400bn worth of electronics products it will consume in the next five years. Hardware exports as of now are still under $10bn. This calls for a very big ramp-up in local manufacturing.
- Connectivity to remote areas: It is a mammoth task to have connectivity with each and every village, town and city. The problem of connectivity is a complex issue because every state has different laws pertaining to its execution.
The following steps may be considered to fulfill the vision of Digital India
- Digital literacy should provide knowledge to secure their online data.
- Massive awareness is to be created particularly in rural areas.
- Digital divide needs to be addressed. National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project can help bridging this gap.
- This mission needs content and service partnerships with telecom companies and other firms to develop infrastructure.
- The success of digital India project depends upon maximum connectivity with minimum cyber security risks. For this there should be a strong anti cyber crime team.
- To improve skill in cyber security, cyber security courses should be introduced with academics.
- There is need for effective participation of various departments and demanding commitment and efforts. Various policies in different areas should support this goal.
- In rural and remote areas, private sector players should be incentivised to provide last mile connectivity.
India in the 21st Century must strive to meet the aspirations of its citizens where government and its services reach the doorsteps of citizens and contribute towards a long-lasting positive impact.