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Six years of Digital India Mission

Context:

2021 marks the completion of six years of Digital Indian programme.

Relevance:

GS-III: Science and Technology, GS-II: Social Justice (Welfare Schemes)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Digital India Mission?
  2. Vision and Vision area of Digital India
  3. Approach and Methodology for Digital India programme are:
  4. Highlights on Completion of 6 years of Digital India

What is Digital India Mission?

  • Digital India is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • The Government of India approved the NeGP, comprising of 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components in 2006, developed by Department of information & Technology and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.
  • The 11th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2008), titled “Promoting e-Governance – The Smart Way Forward” called for government to expand its e-governance capacity.
  • In 2015 the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the Approach and Key Components of eKranti -National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) 2.0.
  • This programme provided for the establishment of Common Service Centres for citizens to have an easy access to government services through various applications.

Vision and Vision area of Digital India

The vision of Digital India programme is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

The Digital India programme is centred on three key vision areas:

  • Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen
    • Availability of high speed internet as a core utility for delivery of services to citizens
    • Cradle to grave digital identity that is unique, lifelong, online and authenticable to every citizen
    • Mobile phone & bank account enabling citizen participation in digital & financial space
    • Easy access to a Common Service Centre
    • Shareable private space on a public cloud
    • Safe and secure cyber-space
  • Governance & Services on Demand
    • Seamlessly integrated services across departments or jurisdictions
    • Availability of services in real time from online & mobile platforms
    • All citizen entitlements to be portable and available on the cloud
    • Digitally transformed services for improving ease of doing business
    • Making financial transactions electronic & cashless
    • Leveraging Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) for decision support systems & development
  • Digital Empowerment of Citizens
    • Universal digital literacy
    • Universally accessible digital resources
    • Availability of digital resources / services in Indian languages
    • Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance
    • Citizens not required to physically submit Govt. documents / certificates

Approach and Methodology for Digital India programme are:

  • Ministries / Departments / States would fully leverage the Common and Support ICT Infrastructure established by GoI. DeitY would also evolve/ lay down standards and policy guidelines, provide technical and handholding support, undertake capacity building and R&D etc.
  • The existing/ ongoing e-governance initiatives would be suitably revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India. Scope enhancement, Process Reengineering, use of integrated & interoperable systems and deployment of emerging technologies like cloud & mobile would be undertaken to enhance the delivery of Government services to citizens.
  • States would be given flexibility to identify for inclusion additional state-specific projects, which are relevant for their socio-economic needs.
  • e-Governance would be promoted through a centralised initiative to the extent necessary, to ensure citizen-centric service orientation, interoperability of various e-Governance applications and optimal utilisation of ICT infrastructure/ resources, while adopting a decentralised implementation model.
  • Successes would be identified and their replication promoted proactively with the required productisation and customisation wherever needed.
  • Public Private Partnerships would be preferred wherever feasible to implement e-governance projects with adequate management and strategic control.
  • Adoption of Unique ID would be promoted to facilitate identification, authentication and delivery of benefits.
  • Restructuring of NIC would be undertaken to strengthen the IT support to all government departments at the Centre and the State levels.
  • The positions of Chief Information Officers (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key Ministries so that various e-governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster. CIO positions will be at Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary level with over-riding powers on IT in the respective Ministry.

Highlights on Completion of 6 years of Digital India

  • The data and demographic dividend combined with India’s proven tech prowess presents massive opportunity for the country, and this decade will be ‘India’s techade’.
  • The introduction of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which introduced the benefits of digital payments in every part of the country. From flourishing businesses to modest street vendors, UPI is helping everyone with payments and transactions.
  • The Electronic Customer Identification System (e-KYC), the Electronic Document Storage System (DigiLocker) and the Electronic Signature System (eSign) were introduced to help businesses streamline their operations.
  • What started as a simple step to kick off the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) to weed out leakages in the system, today empowered the entire vaccination drive for Covid, making India only the second nation to USA that administered 20 crore vaccines.

-Source: Indian Express

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