Opinion: The Digital India transformation

News: Recently, the Prime Minister of India expressed his idea of India that “every Indian must have a smartphone in his hand and every field must be covered by a drone”.

About the Digital India Mission

The Digital India was launched on July 1, 2015. Digital India is a transformative programme to deliver the objectives of the digital transformation of India, bringing about inclusive growth and transformation using technology.

Importance of Digital Transformation

The digital age provides an opportunity to transform the lives of people in many ways. For example, technology is a means to empowerment and a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity.”

How has Digital India led to the digital transformation in India?

India today is home to more than 75 crore smartphones, 133 crore Aadhar Cards, more than 80 crore internet users, has 4G and is now accelerating towards 5G. Further, India has the lowest data tariffs in the world.

Digital India solved some of the most difficult problems faced by the country like public services delivery. The Jan-Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity has ensured targeted delivery of government schemes to its beneficiaries without leakage or misuse. The poorest have received every penny of their entitled benefits.

The government has resorted to DBT technology in the last eight years. This has led to savings of public money.

Digital ecosystem provided ways to tackle the challenge of the pandemic. For example, digital technology was used for vaccination, digital education for students when schools were closed, etc.

The drone’s technology and GIS technologies are being employed to provide digital land records to the rightful owners under the SVAMITVA Yojana. This will reduce disputes, facilitate monetisation of land, availing bank loans and scientific village level planning.

Fintech innovations and India’s digital payments revolution. For example, UPI and Aadhaar-Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS) were some innovative digital payment products.

Digital India has led to the emergence of more than 61,400 start-ups, making India the third-largest start-up ecosystem after the US and China. Nearly 44 start-ups achieved unicorn status in 2021.

India is rapidly becoming atmanirbhar in electronics manufacturing due to Modified Special Incentive Scheme (MSIPS), Electronics Manufacturing Cluster, National Policy on Electronics 2019, etc. As a result, India has more than 250 mobile phones, components and accessories manufacturing units today.

Indian companies have developed their own 4G and 5G technologies. In fact, the commitment to making India self-reliant in semiconductor chip manufacturing has also attracted many big investors.

Way Forward

Digital technology must be low-cost, developmental, inclusive, and substantially home-grown.

Digital technology should bridge the digital divide and usher in digital inclusion.

Source: The post is based on an article “The Digital India transformation” published in the Indian Express on 02nd June 2022.

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