Digital India Campaign – Key Programmes [ UPSC General Studies Paper 2]:

Digital India Campaign 1


Digital India week was launched by PM Modi on 1st July 2015 along with launching of Digital India Campaign. The information about the Digital India Campaign is very important as per the UPSC Civil Services is concerned as it forms the part of the ‘Governance and E-governance’ topic mentioned in  the syllabus of General Studies Paper 2. It is also important for other competetive exams as it a much-hyped ambitious programme of the government.

Below is given all the consolidated details about the Digital India campaign and the various key programmes and initiatives associated with the Digital India Campaign.

What is Digital India Campaign ?

  • The Digital India Campaign is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

  •  The Digital India campaign includes many projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to the citizens electronically and people get benefits of the latest information and communication technology.
  • The Ministry of Communications and IT is the nodal agency to implement the programme.

Vision Of Digital India:

  • Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
  • Governance & Services on Demand
  • Digital Empowerment of Citizens

Digital India Campaign

9 Pillars Of Digital India:

Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple Government Ministries and Departments.  Digital India is to be implemented by the entire Government with overall coordination being done by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology. Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas. Each of these areas is a complex programme in itself and cuts across multiple Ministries and Departments. The 9 pillars of Digital India Campaign are:

Broadband Highways:

  • This covers three sub components, namely Broadband for All – Rural, Broadband for All – Urban and National Information Infrastructure (NII).
  • Broadband for All – Rural: 2,50,000 village Panchayats would be covered under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) by December 2016. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is the nodal Department for this project.
  • Broadband for All – Urban: Virtual Network Operators would be leveraged for service delivery and communication infrastructure in new urban developments and buildings would be mandated.

  • National Information Infrastructure (NII): NII would integrate the network and cloud infrastructure in the country to provide high speed connectivity and cloud platform to various government departments up to the panchayat level.

Universal Access to Phones:

  • This initiative focuses on mobile network penetration and filling the gaps in connectivity in the country, thus providing 100% mobile connectivity in the country.

Public Internet Access Programme:

  • The two sub components of Public Internet Access Programme are Common Service Centres (CSCs) and Post Offices as multi-service centres.

e-Governance – Reforming government through Technology:

  • using IT to simplify and to make the delivery of government services to the citizens more effectively across various government domains.

e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services 

  • All new as well as the existing projects, which are being revamped, should now follow the key principles of e-Kranti namely ‘Transformation and not Translation’, ‘Integrated Services and not Individual Services’, ‘Government Process re-engineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every MMP’, ‘ICT Infrastructure on Demand’, ‘Cloud by Default’, ‘Mobile First’, ‘Fast Tracking Approvals’, ‘Mandating Standards and Protocols’, ‘Language Localization’, ‘National GIS (Geo-Spatial Information System)’, ‘Security and Electronic Data Preservation’.

Information for All:

  • Open Data platform facilitates proactive release of datasets in an open format by the ministries/departments for use, reuse and redistribution. Online hosting of information & documents would facilitate open and easy access to information for citizens.
  • Open Data platform, Social Media Engagement and Online Messaging are part of this.

Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports:

  • Promoting electronics manufacturing in the country with the target of NET ZERO Imports by 2020.

IT for Jobs:

  • Providing training to the youth in the skills required for availing employment opportunities in the IT/ITES sector.

Early Harvest Programmes:

  • Early Harvest Programme basically consists of those projects which are to be implemented within short timeline.

Key initiatives and Programmes launched in Digital India week:

  1. Digital locker system to minimize usage of physical documents and enable their e-sharing via registered repositories.
  2. as an online platform to engage citizens in governance.
  3. Swachh Bharat Mission Mobile app to achieve the goals set by this mission.
  4. e-Sign framework to allow citizens to digitally sign documents online using Aadhaar.
  5. e-Hospital system for important healthcare services such as online registration, fee payment, fixing doctors’s appointments, online diagnostics and checking blood availability online.
  6. National Scholarship Portal for beneficiaries from submission of application to verification, sanction and disbursal.
  7. Digitize India Platform for large-scale digitization of records in the country to facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
  8. Bharat Net programme as a high-speed digital highway to connect all 250,000 gram panchayats of country — the world’s largest rural broadband project using optical fibre.
  9. BSNL’s Next Generation Network to replace 30-year old telephone exchanges to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia and other types of communication services.
  10. Deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country.
  11. “Broadband Highways’ as one of the pillars of Digital India to address the connectivity issue while enabling and providing technologies to facilitate delivery of services to citizens.
  12. Outsourcing Policy to create such centres in different northeastern states and in smaller towns across the country.
  13. Electronics Development Fund to promote innovation, research and product development to create a resource pool within the country as also a self-sustaining eco-system of venture funds.
  14. National Centre for Flexible Electronics to promote research and innovation in the emerging area of flexible electronics.
  15. Centre of Excellence for Internet on Things (IoT) as a joint initiative of the government agencies and private institutions such as Nasscom.

What will be Impact of Digital India by 2019?

  • Broadband in 2.5 lakh villages,
  • universal phone connectivity
  • Net Zero Imports by 2020
  • 400,000 Public Internet Access Points
  • Wi-fi in 2.5 lakh schools, all universities;
  • Public wi-fi hotspots for citizens
  • Digital Inclusion: 1.7 Cr trained for IT, Telecom and Electronics Jobs
  • Job creation: Direct 1.7 Cr. and Indirect at least 8.5 Cr.
  • e-Governance & eServices: Across government India to be leader in IT use in services – health, education, banking
  • Digitally empowered citizens – public cloud, internet access

What is a Digital Locker?:

  • Digital Locker facility, under Digital India programme, will help citizens to digitally store their important documents like PAN card, passport, mark sheets and degree certificates.
  • Digital Locker will provide secure access to Government issued documents.
  • It uses authenticity services provided by Aadhaar.
  • It is aimed at eliminating the use of physical documents and enables sharing of verified electronic documents across government agencies.
  • Digital Locker provides a dedicated personal storage space in the cloud to citizens, linked to citizens Aadhaar number.
  • Digital Locker will reduce the administrative overhead of government departments and agencies created due to paper work.
  • Documents will now be available anytime, anywhere and can be shared electronically, thus saving time.
  • To sign-up for your Digital Locker, one need your Aadhaar number and a Mobile number that is linked to that Aadhaar Number.

What is National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)?

The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is a project initiated in 2011 to provide broadband connectivity to over two lakh (200,000) Gram panchayats of India at a cost of Rs.20,000 crore.

Public Wi-fi spots will be provided around the clusters after that and all villages will be provided with internet connectivity.

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