Digital India- The Dream
Digital India is a vision to transform the country into a connected knowledge-economy. Through this process, the government services should be available to the mass; even to people living in places which are considerably under-developed. To make the dream a reality, the IT sector is accentuating on providing digital literacy to the people. Digital literacy will empower more people to avail the privilege of digital India, and, thus providing the country a strong digital economy.
E-Governance creates a digital network and virtually the government services become a one-stop shop for the citizens. Currently, nearly 74% of the population uses mobile phone (source: Economic Times) and by 2019, it is expected that every person will be able to use a mobile phone.
So, if all the Government services e.g. banking, infrastructure, health, sanitation, financial services etc can be covered digitally, it will automatically become the first step towards digital India. At present, nearly 60% of the nation’s population doesn’t have access to financial services. Through the proper implication of E- Governance, a smooth connection can be established between the government departments and the citizens.
Importance and Benefits of E-Governance
E-Governance can make the dealings with government departments more transparent. Corruption is a thing that pesters the country and many a time citizens have to face situations in which they have to pay a bribe to the concerned persons in order to make them work. This is a sad state of affair in almost all parts of India.
Through electronic connectivity and reduced paperwork, such hassles can be reduced. In fact, I think technology can reform the government services all over.
Access to internet, phone, and banking infrastructure. Provision of services on demand. Smooth and quick connectivity as well as availability of digital resources.
All these should be the primary perspectives.
India is a country with a huge population. This human resource can be effectively used once the dream of digital India is fulfilled. But it is easier said than done. There are several issues which we should keep in mind and try our best to bring on easy, plausible solutions for them.
The Essential Aspects of Digital India’s Infrastructure: My Views
• Availability of Internet
Though internet service is available in many parts of the country but, still only the urban areas can avail the advantage to the fullest. In rural areas, connectivity is an all-time issue. Even when there is the connection, it’s terribly slow and prevents one to do anything smoothly.
As this is the key factor to materialize the vision of e-India, the government should take of it first and foremost. Broadband service has already developed a lot and now can be availed from even the remotest of places. Along with that, mobile wireless services should be given priority (WiMax, 3G, 4G). It should also be taken care of that these services remain affordable to the citizens especially to the rural people.
An expensive service will only create more complications. Effective yet affordable (or free) internet is the fundamental factor of #DigitalIndia.
• Digital Literacy
This is a problem which needs a genuine endeavor for its eradication. In a country where general literacy stands at about 74% as of now ( a major gender disparity is there, in this case. Male literacy percentage is much more than females), digital literacy for all is not easy to achieve. But it is not impossible at all.
People have a general curiosity towards mobile phones, tabs, and computers. I’ve worked with an NGO and I’ve seen it for myself. Within just two weeks, some vegetable vendors and a group of maid-servants; who didn’t even know how to operate their bank accounts, learned the usage of mobile phones. Some of them were even able to read/send texts in Hindi. I think if there are effective digital literacy programs undertaken by the Govt, 100% digital literacy is surely achievable.
• Effective e-commerce, Electronic Delivery of Services
E-education is an integral part of digital literacy. While for the illiterates it’s difficult to learn things from books, one can easily learn if they’re taught digitally. Simple online courses on agriculture, fishing, apiculture, sericulture, can create new horizons for rural India. Online healthcare and sanitation programs will make rural womenfolk aware of different things and also solve their problems which they often face regarding their health.
It will also enable the citizens to apply for different licenses and jobs. We all have perhaps faced the harassments while buying tickets for flights or trains or applying/renewing our passports before the processes were digitized. Now, there is much transparency, ease, and, efficiency.
Another problem in e-commerce in this country is non-availability of services in rural and semi-urban areas. Many e-commerce sites don’t deliver goods in those areas and thus people are suffering in many ways. Effective e-commerce services should be introduced so that, all the citizens can be benefited irrespective of the place where they reside.
• Knowledge Can Save Lives
We often come across of the news of missing fishermen in the sea. They venture out without knowing the weather condition, wave heights and other necessary information which can save their lives. A digital information hub in every village can provide them with this information and save their lives.
Similarly, regular weather forecast can become immensely helpful to the farmers.
E- banking will not only save papers but also make it quick and transparent. Though it is gaining popularity day by day but, still some banks, especially the ‘graamin co-operatives’ are yet to welcome this initiative. Once each and every bank comes under e-banking, smooth and hassle-free financial banking shall be our pride.
Intel Supporting The Vision Of Digital India
It’s not a rocket science to understand that all these steps and measures are inter-related and without developing the one, another always will remain a distant dream. Digital empowerment is only possible with a universal digital literacy and availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages. This is not possible without precise technology and knowledge of IT.
Intel.in, a pioneer and a name almost synonymous with IT, is working with the Government of India to realize the dream of #DigitalIndia. As a part of this program, Intel.in has introduced a digital skill training application which includes modules on digital literacy, financial inclusion, healthcare and cleanliness in 5 Indian languages.
The app will be available free on Android Play Store from December 6 in Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Kannada. (Source: TOI)
This is a welcome step towards digital empowerment and e-governance as well.
Intel has also announced to run a training program at the panchayat levels and is jointly working with National Optic Fibre Network to receive Broadband facility. It has also joined hands with Bharat Broadband Network Ltd.
Intel.in is consistent in its endeavor to provide India with computing technology that is affordable, simple and easily accessible.
With such efficient participation of Intel.in, the dream of #DigitalIndia doesn’t seem to be a distant one. With the achievement of digital literacy, the benefits of E-Governance can be fully utilized by the citizens and India will surely be digitized and that will offer more dynamism in the economy making our country more developed and powerful.