Context: A conference was organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to celebrate 5 Years of Digital India progressing towards Digital Bharat - AatmaNirbhar Bharat. 

Digital India programme

  • Digital India is a programme launched in 2015 to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy. 
  • It would also bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically.

Vision areas:

  • Digital infrastructure as Utility to Every Citizen
  • Governance and services on demand
  • Digital empowerment of citizens


  • To prepare India for a knowledge future.
  • On being transformative that is to realize IT (Indian Talent) + IT (Information Technology) = IT (India Tomorrow).
  • Making technology central to enabling change.
  • On being an Umbrella Programme – covering many departments.

Nine pillars of Digital India

  • Broadband Highways
  • Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
  • Public Internet Access Programme
  • e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology
  • e-Kranti - Electronic Delivery of Services
  • Information for All
  • Electronics Manufacturing
  • IT for Jobs
  • Early Harvest Programmes

Digital initiatives by the govt:

  • JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile): It is the initiative by the Government of India to link Jan Dhan accounts, Mobile numbers and Aadhar cards of Indians to directly transfer subsidies to intended beneficiaries and eliminate intermediaries and leakages. 
  • Various Government schemes under JAM
    • Pratyaksh Hanstantarit Labh (PAHAL) Yojna
    • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna
    • Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojna
    • Atal Pension Yojana
  • Direct Benefit Transfer: DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) is a scheme launched by the Government of India to transfer the benefits and subsidies of various social welfare schemes like LPG subsidy, MNREGA payments, Old Age Pension, Scholarships, etc. directly in the bank account of the beneficiary.
  • Common Services Centres: The CSC is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government in May 2006.
    • Common Service Centres (CSC) scheme is one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme.
    • CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • DigiLocker: DigiLocker is the national Digital Locker System launched by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), 1GB of free space in the locker to securely store resident documents and store links.
    • Linked to both Aadhaar card and cellphone numbers, DigiLocker eliminates the use of physical documents as part of the government’s Digital India drive, since all data is stored in the cloud.
    • You can upload scanned copies of your documents (PDF, JPEG or PNG format) and access it anywhere you want. You can also e-sign these uploaded documents, which works like self-attestation of physical documents.
    • On the other hand, organisations like the CBSE, the Registrar Office or the Income Tax Department can also push electronic copies of documents and certificates directly into your e-lockers.
  • Mobile-based UMANG services: UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.
    • UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen-centric services.
  • Participatory governance through MyGov: MyGov is a citizen engagement platform founded by the Government of India to promote the active participation of Indian citizens in their country's governance and development. 
    • It is aimed at creating a common platform for Indian citizens to "crowdsource governance ideas from citizens".
  • Jeevan Pramaan: It is very difficult for senior citizens and other retired employees to visit the bank every year and submit a life certificate in person. 
    • The Government of India has made provision for such pensioners to generate the digital life certificate using Aadhaar-based biometric authentication by visiting the Jeevan Pramaan portal or downloading the Jeevan Pramaan app on their smartphones.
    • The facility is available for retired employees of the Central Government, State Government and other government institutions.
  • UPI: Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. 
    • It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
  • PMJAY e-card: Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat is one of the world’s largest health insurance schemes financed by the government of India.
    • Coverage of Rs.5 lakh per family per annum for secondary and tertiary care across public and private hospitals.
    • Beneficiaries of the scheme can avail hospitalisation for necessary treatment by showing their PMJAY ecard.
  • e-Hospital:  e-Hospital@NIC a Hospital Management System is a workflow based ICT solution for Hospitals specifically meant for the hospitals in the Government Sector. 
    • This is a generic software which covers major functional areas like patient care, laboratory services, workflow based document information exchange, human resource and medical records management of a Hospital.
  • e-NAM: National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
    • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.
  • SWAYAM: SWAYAM  that stands for "Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds" is an Indian Massive open online course (MOOC) platform. 
    • SWAYAM is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development,
  • SWAYAM PRABHA: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources Development to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on 24X7 basis.
    • This is primarily aimed at making quality learning resources accessible to remote areas where internet availability is still a challenge.
    • The DTH channels are using the GSAT-15 satellite for programme telecasts.
  • National Scholarship Portal: National Scholarship Portal (NSP) 2020 is a portal launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. 
    • This portal provides various scholarships to SC/ ST/ OBC/ Minority students.
  • e-Pathshala:  The ePathshala, a joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has been developed for showcasing and disseminating all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals, and a variety of other print and non-print materials for Students, Teachers, Parents, researchers and educators.
  • A ‘National AI Portal’: The portal is meant to work as a “one stop digital platform" for all AI related developments in India. The govt. will make data sources available through the portal.
    • It is developed jointly by the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).
  • ‘Responsible AI for Youth’: The programme aims to equip students with the skill sets and mind set required for AI readiness. It is open to students from Government Schools based in District Headquarters, in classes 8-12.
    • Nasscom, chipmaker Intel and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) are also part of the project.
  • Aarogya Setu: Aarogya Setu is designed to keep track of other app users that a person came in contact with. It then alerts app users if any of the contacts tests positive for COVID-19.
    • The app uses the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS capabilities. It will keep a record of all other Aarogya Setu users that it detected nearby using Bluetooth. 
    • It will also use a GPS log of all the places that the device had been at 15-minute intervals.
  • E-Sanjeevani: 'eSanjeevani', is a web-based comprehensive telemedicine solution. 
    • 'eSanjeevani' extends the reach of specialized healthcare services to masses in both rural areas and isolated communities. 
    • eSanjeevani also aims to make healthcare services equitable by bridging the digital divide that exists between the urban vs. rural, rich vs. poor etc. 
    • eSanjeevani can also be used to provide medical education to interns , people across various Common Service Centers (CSCs), etc. 

Performances so far

  • Digital India as digital saviour : In the current pandemic scenario, people are able to work from home, people are able make digital payment, students are able to learn through TV, Mobile and Laptop, patients are able to take tele-consultation, and farmers in remote corner of India is able to get PM-KISAN benefits directly in their bank accounts.
    • Medical role: Aarogya Setu for its ground-breaking development time of 3 weeks and localisation in 12 Indian languages with 13 crore downloads, with additional 3 crores for Kai OS, has helped identify over 350 COVID-19 hotspots. 
    • Social media: Sensitization through MyGov and Social Media Platforms have played a crucial role in tackling the pandemic through user friendly graphics etc.
  • The number of e-Services has increased from 2,463 in 2014 to 3,858 till May 2020 and daily average electronic transactions have increased from 66 lakh in 2014 to 16.3 crore in 2020
  • Aadhaar has been issued to 125.7 crore residents and 4,216 crore authentications have been facilitated.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer to the tune of Rs 11.1 lakh crore has been disbursed for 426 schemes from 56 Ministries and has led to the saving of Rs 1.7 lakh crore due. 
  • Jan Dhan Accounts have reached 38.73 crore beneficiaries, with a total of Rs 1.33 lakh crore in beneficiaries bank accounts. 
  • Mobile and internet connections are being used by 117 crore and 68.8 crore users, respectively. 
  • DigiLocker, launched on July 1, 2015, has 378 crore issued documents. 
  • Unified Mobile App for New-Age Governance (UMANG) has 860+ services operational and more than 3 Crore downloads have taken place, he further added. 
  • MyGov has been launched to facilitate participatory governance in the country, with a total of 1.17 Crore registered participants, while facilitating the Mann Ki Baat of the Prime Minister.


United efforts: Digital India’s achievements can be attributed to the united efforts of Central Government, State Governments, Industries and Academia, all key parts of Team India. 

  • Public-private partnership models in e-Government Development depend on four dimensions-
  1. Government as an enabler of technology, 
  2. as a customer of Technology, 
  3. as a platform provider and 
  4. the Government as collaborator to provide solutions. 

The building of Aatma Nirbhar Digital Systems calls for development of in-house capacity and capability to drive economic and social development of the country.

Image Source: http://iksa.in/india-ink/digital-india/2782/