Q) No matter what, one cannot deny the fact that the Digital India Mission has led to the transformation of lives and livelihoods at the grassroots, powered by technology and the ingenuity of India’s innovation ecosystem. In this context, discuss the significance of the mission and the concerns that remain to be addressed.
Why this Question?
Important part of GS Paper-II.
Key demand of the Question
Discuss in detail the achievements of the Digital India mission and the remaining challenges.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Start with an introduction about the Digital India Mission.
In the first part, categorically discuss the achievements of the programme especially in the context of grassroots level transformation it has brought.
In the next part, mention the remaining concerns that need to be addressed.
Conclude with a way forward.
Digital India Programme was launched in 2015. The programme has been enabled for several important Government schemes, such as BharatNet, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, industrial corridors, etc.
- Digital Payments: 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. This also encourages a number of private players to provide alternatives for digital payments which completely transformed the Indian economy.
- Easing the Operations of Businesses: 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.
- Beyond the JAM Trinity: 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.
- Digital platforms have also played a key role in India’s response to the covid crisis. The MyGov Chatbot has provided validated information on key resources, the eSanjeevani, has so far enabled 9 million telemedicine consultations, and CoWin, our vaccination gateway has logged over 500 million vaccine doses.
- India’s 20-plus public digital platforms have successfully built scale across multiple citizen services and also helped create a vibrant tech startup ecosystem that is making good use of this digital infrastructure.
- The rise of public digital platforms also represents a productive engagement between the government and Indian industry to work together in tackling crucial socio-economic challenges.
- Slow roll-out of Wi-Fi hotspots and the slow speed, in comparison to other developed nations.
- Most small and medium scale industries are struggling to adapt to modern technology.
- Entry level smartphones have limited capabilities for smooth internet access, and the outreach of the ‘smartphones’ is limited.
- There is an absence of enough skilled manpower in digital technology.
- Lack of user education and there are limited facilities to train personnel. India needs over one million cybersecurity experts to check and monitor the growing menace of digital crime.
- Inculcation of scientific temper, where perception doesn’t drive policy.
- Access to data and lower costs of devices especially smartphones.
- High speed technology and seamless connectivity (5G, 6G).
- Quality and local language content.
- A secure and safe cyberspace with clear spaces for redressal, ombudsmen, grievance redressal officers.
- Renewable energy, seamless power supply, green technology and lastly more and more government services to be brought online with more departments talking to each other.