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31 Mar 2015

India has digitally literate people, but they obviously represent people in the urban areas where there are availability of network connections and resources. But to digitally empower India as a whole as per the Government’s vision to a “Digital India”, the Government aims to target the rural and remotest areas of the country to make a nationwide digital inclusion a reality.

What does it mean to be “Digital India”?


To make India as an “e-nation” or say as a digitized nation, technology will play an important role. The "e" here specifically transformed how things actually worked decades ago where every exchange between a consumer (public) and a producer (organisation) has been involved sinking in a heap of paperwork by consuming time into electronic data to make it easier to store, evaluate with reduced time, increased competence of the work as well as improved response time. This potentially useful technology will be introduced even in the remote areas of the country to create a web connecting all important citizen services to allow public from anywhere to directly access the required information and also provide a platform to directly collaborate with the Government.
digital india
To be more precise, it is a known fact that most of the public servants serve in a closed environment where they exchange information through the representatives of various ministries by communicating with them horizontally. This means when a common person applies for any citizen services, it has to pass through a hierarchy of representatives going up and coming down before it can reach back to that particular citizen applying for the service. By introducing digitization, most of the physical data can be transformed into digital data to reap the above said benefits.

This is where PM Narendra Modi vision of making India a truly "E-Governed nation"comes in to overcome all the setbacks as well as to introduce new ones connecting each and every part of India into a network transforming India to E-India.

This e-connect will make rural people to connect with citizen services in terms of education, small business, Government funding schemes, agriculture, fisheries, utility services, bank loans and pension schemes. Making the right connect will make sure that the help reaches the right people without any third party involvement. It will also serve to educate the rural citizens about their rights under the Indian Government. The advantage of an e-Governed nation is enormous but to make it possible India needs to strengthen its platform making it highly secure through the hands of best cyber security specialists, making use of the right infrastructure and innovative technology and more importantly should be handled by dependable representatives through a well-developed and fast channels.

digital india


As per “Digital India” initiative, technology in e-Governance means,
  • To form a basic network connecting every part of India to have a common and basic access to Government services. 
  • To help track the delivery of various citizen benefits by linking Aadhaar cards with that of its citizen’s mobile SIM-card number. 
  • To help allow storage all the citizen’s original documents at one place using "digital cloud”. 
  • To help allow training and means of educating rural people of India to be digitally literate to access citizen services and Government funding schemes.
  • To build robust infrastructure for e-Governance implementation
  • To bring in a means of electronic identification and authorisation with long term prospective with the introduction of "smart cards". 
  • To implement the use of open-source software for e-governance projects.
  • Implementing e-Governance pilot projects and re-engineering Government departments wherever necessary.
  • Replicating successful projects and bridging the gaps of failures
  • To popularise e-Governance through marketing and promotion. Eg: Twitter promotion #DigitalIndia

Intel's Involvement in Digital India Vision


This “Digital India” initiative is further supported by Intel India’s involvement through its "Digital Skills for India" Program and the” Innovate For India Challenge” program.

Under its “Digital Skills for India" Program Intel commits to work along with the government to impart digital literacy training to key resource persons in the first 1,000 Panchayats under the National Optic Fiber Network roll out in India thereby impacting about five million citizens by the end of 2015. This is a very good initiative which will enable rural people to access Internet by connecting themselves with the outside world and the most important one being having access to Government citizen services.

But to access these services, the non-IT literate or rural people should know how to make use of these online services. So as a part of its “Digital Skills for India” program, Intel launched the "Digital Skills Training applications" which comprise modules such as Technology Skills and Training, Healthcare, Hygiene, Right to Information (RTI), Agriculture, Banking and Education in about 7 different Indian languages to educate public about some specific information and Government  funding schemes. The modules are also available as an app on Google Play Store.

An overview of the Intel app shows that the information shared is highly helpful for people coming under the poverty line. With just a click on their mobile devices, key information about the Government’s civic and support services can be accessed.

digital india

The other program by Intel “Innovate for India Challenge" will help promote technological innovation that is affordable, accessible and easy to use for Indian citizens. This will provide a window to further develop innovative technologies and solutions making India’s digital dream a reality.

Opinions and Concerns


As with any digital solutions, the main drawback is that people believe that when everything is fed into the system, the job is done. Most often the tendency is that people completely rely on the digital solutions without further probation. Example, there are some occasions where it is possible that the information that is fed into the system being wrong, irregular updates on the system, system failure, lack of insight of information, improper handling of information, and also the transparency of official data wherein leakage of confidential data might reach the public. To reduce these mistakes,  regular training of the department officials as well as regular maintenance of the system might be helpful.

An useful feature for better optimization will be making the government more experimental by partly keeping it open-source where people can point out defects in the system and probably improvise it. Involving the public to provide feedback and opinions on how to further improve the system is also beneficial from time to time. It might also impart a sense of commitment to the public thereby improving Government-Citizen bonding.

Also, there should be enough protection in place which does not pull apart the whole system down when one part of the system fails. More importantly being a citizen-centric service proper emphasis should be made on the data protection and the privacy of the citizen’s details. To enhance safety measures, new policies and procedures should be introduced to restrict swindling or manipulating data, feedback mechanisms should be strengthened and different methods of evaluation to monitor and measure the public service should be followed to keep an eye on corruption and other misuse of public data.

In few decades, with the growth of E- Governance in India it is possible that physical money might be replaced by e-money or bitcoins. And so accordingly, usage of citizen-centric digital card or smart card transaction might also grow exponentially.

As with Intel's "Digital Skills for India” program, it enables people in rural areas to understand the use of public services using Internet thereby reducing time and improving efficiency. But, again as with any service, proper evaluating method by collecting regular feedback from the rural public through various means by direct and indirect approach will help analyse the effectiveness of the system. Also with  "Digital Skills Training applications" app, adding more details on accessing citizen services and possible inclusion of adding interactive modules or videos will make it easy for to comprehend.



5 comments:

  1. nice post! :D u will win. without any doubt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Superb, Uma... Thanks a lot for sharing all these information that is must to be known! I learnt a lot about digital India today :) Thank you dear :)
    TC! Keep smiling :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. nicely presented .. all the best :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well written Uma ..Best wishes :) (h)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice post. We do hope E Governance will become a reality.

    ReplyDelete

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