At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi on August 21, the Union Cabinet has formally approved the Digital India programme. The programme, extremely comprehensive in nature, aims to transform India into a digitally powered society and knowledge economy. Various projects to be implemented under the programme are expected to cost around Rs 1 trillion.
The execution of the programme has been planned in multiple phases starting from the current year and extending till 2018. It will ensure that Government services are delivered to the people of India electronically. A Unique ID and an e-Pramaan is planned to be issued on the basis of authentic and standard based interoperable and integrated government applications. The programme aims to give a major boost to nine pillars of growth - broadband highways, universal access to mobile connectivity, public internet access, e-Governance, electronic delivery of services, information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for jobs and early harvest programmes. The Government aims to connect 2.5 lakh villages through broadband and phones, bring down telecom imports to nil, install wi-fi facilities in around 2.5 lakh schools and all universities and set up public wi-fi hotspots. It is expected to create around 1.7 crore direct jobs through training in the fields of IT, telecom and electronics and 8.5 crore indirect jobs.
At the core of the programme is the vision provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that IT (Indian Talent) + IT (Information Technology) = IT (India Tomorrow). The holistic approach towards leveraging IT across all areas of governance is certainly laudable and promises to catalyse the Government’s efforts towards inclusive development and citizen welfare.