Author: Nitin Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, PayU (India)
Prior to exploring the innumerable possibilities of ‘Digital India’, let us first understand the concept of the program. This is a program intended to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The idea is to provide people with a ‘cradle to grave identity’ that is “unique, lifelong and online.” The authorities have conveyed that the overall scope of this program is to prepare India to have the requisite knowledge to be equipped for the future and make technology the center that enables change. It envisions becoming the umbrella program across sectors. The project focuses on being transformative that helps realize the popular equation i.e. IT+IT= IT, which means India Today + Information Technology = India Tomorrow.
‘Digital India’ is a vision, which is based on three key areas. The first is to make various utilities available to the citizens through cutting-edge digital infrastructure. It will enable delivery of services like banking and access to service centers at the doorstep of citizens with the assistance of high speed internet. The second area of vision will be the focus on governance and services. This digital movement will bring everything in the palms of people across departments and places. It will enable providing services to people in real time, cutting across every hindrance. It will also enhance the usage of cloud services and enable citizens to receive their due just from these services. Furthering the benefits, it will ease the procedures for starting businesses in India and even the financial transactions will become effortless as people wouldn’t have to set foot outside their houses. The third and the foremost vision would be to empower citizens digitally. The digital resources, like documents etc. will be easily available on the cloud, making access to information easier and faster. This will consequently lead to a digital revolution in the country. Further, the services would be friendlier as they would be available in native languages, making their penetration comprehensible and vast.
With e-Governance coming into power, the private sector sees a lot of opportunity in this space. This will magnify the efficiency of the Government and induce more transparency into the system. Digital payment companies stand to benefit with this move as it will increase the number of people accessing Internet in India. The future of a country is generally determined by the growth of its economy and the Digital India campaign is one such way that will not only strengthen the economy of India, but will also play a major role in putting India in the league of developed nations. The transformation of the country into a knowledge economy will ensure the industry gets rock solid support and a fertile ground to flourish in the time to come. Additionally, the huge investment of Rs.1.13 lakh-crore and 18 lakh direct or indirect jobs in the country will generate trust among major investors across the globe making it the new mecca for emerging technologies. Consequently, the next Apple or Facebook might just come from India!
Furthering the benefits of Digital India, the roadmap ahead looks promising. By the year 2019, 2.5 lakh villages will have broadband connection along with the added feature of phone connectivity. The imports of the country will turn zero as India will have a staggering 400, 000 Public Internet Access Points. Not only that, over 2.5 lakh educational institutions including schools and universities will have Wi-Fi facility. The program aims to impact the employment scenario immensely by increasing skills and job prospects. It is estimated that by 2019, about 1.7 crore young Indians will have proper training in IT, Telecom and electronics. This directly leads to 1.7 crore jobs for Indian Youth in about four years from now.
With these developments, India is expected to become the world leader in IT interface with e-Governance and e-services getting maximum exposure. Driven by such digital engagement, Indian firms are expected to leave the best-in-the-world companies behind, with their IT expertise permeating into services like health, education and banking.
Therefore, it can be concluded that ‘Digital India’ is all set to transform the interface of the country’s socio-economic dynamics. It is deemed to bring systems and infrastructure up to speed and leverage the country’s workforce, establishing a firm foundation towards sustainable practices and eventually progress.
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