Digital India gets go ahead from cabinet, will cost Rs 113,000 crore

The union cabinet has given its approval for Digital India, a programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy, costing the government Rs 113,000 crore.

This programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and will impact ministry of communications & IT, ministry of rural development, ministry of human resource development, ministry of health and others. This programme will also benefit all states and union territories. The existing/ ongoing e-Governance initiatives would be revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India.

The vision of Digital India is to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It would ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically. It would also bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically.

The Digital India vision provides the intensified impetus for further momentum and progress for e-Governance and would promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities.

The programme will be implemented in phases from the current year till 2018. The source of funding for most of the e-Governance projects at present is through budgetary provisions of respective ministries/departments in the central or state governments. Requirements of funds for individual project(s) for Digital India will be worked out by respective nodal ministries/departments but according to government estimate it will cost Rs 113,000 crore.

Digital India vision focuses on three things: Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen; Governance and services on demand; and digital empowerment of citizens.

Digital India Vision

  • Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen: High speed internet shall be made available in all gram panchayats; Cradle to grave digital identity; Mobile and Bank account would enable participation in digital and financial space at individual level; Easy access to common service centre within their locality; Shareable private space on a public cloud; and Safe and secure cyber space in the country.
  • Governance and Services on Demand: Single window access to all persons by seamlessly integrating departments or jurisdictions; availability of government services in online and mobile platforms; All citizen entitlements to be available on the Cloud to ensure easy access; Government services to be digitally transformed for improving ease of doing business; Making financial transactions above a threshold, electronic and cashless; and Leveraging GIS for decision support systems and development.
  • Digital empowerment of citizens: Universal digital literacy; All digital resources universally accessible; All government documents/certificates to be available on the Cloud; Availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages; Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance; Portability of all entitlements for individuals through the cloud.

Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely broadband highways, universal access to mobile connectivity, public Internet access programme, e-Governance, e-Kranti (electronic delivery of services), information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for Jobs and early harvest programmes.

To implement this the government is planning to strengthen National Informatics Center (NIC) by restructuring it to support all central government departments and state governments. Positions of chief information officers (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key ministries so that e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster.

Apart from this, the DeitY would create four senior positions within the department for managing the programme say additional secretary, Digital India; joint secretary, infrastructure development; joint secretary, capacity building and digital enablement; and joint secretary, IT applications in uncovered areas & process re-engineering.

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