Digital India – UPSC GS3

Digital India programme is a comprehensive approach to leverage the technology for the developmental purpose.

It aims at:
    • creating digital infrastructure,
    • delivering services digitally and
    • making people digitally literate.
Under the digital infrastructure government plans to expand the access to internet thorough National Optical Fiber Network and mobile internet access.
Government also plant to expand the range of services delivered online with services like digital locker and e-hospitals in addition to missions under National E-governance plans. Program also aims at leveraging technology to impart skills and make people digitally literate with focus on digital classroom and e-education.
    • We are nowhere close to global benchmarks when it comes to state of our basic physical infrastructure – roads, water and electricity and also those related to sanitation, public health and primary education
    • Digital India may not be of much help in addressing governance and development concerns unless it is integrated into wide reforms agenda, which could often involve not-so-popular, structural and institutional change like :
      • Real and effective devolution of functions, finances and functionaries to local government bodies
    • India ranks 118 on the e-Government Development Index as per the UN e-Gov Survey 2014
    • Need to bring greater understanding of local contextual realities into project designs.
    • Digital Technology should be adopted by grass root functionaries like:
      • ANMs in a village heath sub-centre
      • An anganwadi worker
      • A teacher in a primary school
      • A village accountant in the revenue department
      • An agriculture assistant
      • A fair-price shop owner
      • A food inspector
    • Three Issues that Digital India needs to consider include:
      • Responsibility of big companies
      • Evolving a policy framework in terms of digital electronics & platform by government
      • Focus on local manufacturing
    • Data security & privacy is a prominent challenge ahead
For program to be successful, government needs to address the genuine concerns raised. There is need for ‘privacy law’ and ‘data protection measures’ to increase trust of people in such programs. It would help in increase usage of government services. New protocols may be developed in this regard. The formation of the NCIIPC is crucial in this regard.
A robust institutional framework and implementation focused approach along with measures to ensure safety and security of data is essential for ‘Digital India‘ to succeed in its mission of empowering the citizens.
The Digital India programme is ambitious in its scale. Discuss the challenges that the programme faces to become successful. How these challenges can be addressed? (200 Words)
  • Infrastructure deficit such as lack of towers, especially in the country side.
Solution – In a bid to connect 2,50,000 village panchayats extensively, focus more on wireless connections leveraging private and global players like the “Project Loon” of Google.
  • Implementing entities at the actual field , may not be adequately trained.
Solution – Have a dedicated training institute under the DIP, to aid in augmenting the digital literacy and awareness levels.
  • Beneficiaries may not have adequate knowledge of DIP
Solution – Run campaigns for them, on regular intervals at village, block, district levels.
  • Auxiliary Services such as health, education, banking, governance etc may not be well developed.
Solution – The aforesaid should be improvised in concomitance with implementing the provisions of DIP and make services like Digi locker , e-kranti, e-sewa grand success.
  • Digital financial services such as online banking, aadhar linked benefit transfers, cloud services would be prone to more cyber threats, thereby encroaching into our Rights to be Secured as well as Privacy.
Solution – Have robust cyber financial security task forces at the state level with the help of entities like CERT and much akin to the cyberdrome like in Kerela.
  • Require more spectrum per population to cater to the requirements of DIP
Solution – Scaling up our spectrum capacities.
  • Reluctance of the startups to be a part of DIP due to legal and IPR issues.
Solution – Connect initiatives like Start up India with DIP more extensively and form a more investment, IPR friendly ecosystem.
  • No separate entity for Consumer readdress under the program.
Solution – Have a National entity to take care of the grievances pertaining to DIP.



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