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Digital India and its impact



Digital India carries different nuances to each stakeholder in the country ranging from government to common man. On a daily basis, the country churns out a bewildering diversity of interpretations of Digital India and continues to add to the mystique of this catchphrase. Tracing its roots, one may have to concede that the idea of Digital India perhaps owes its origin to the profound advancement made by other countries in Asia Pacific such as Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore.

The Digital India roadmap includes electronic delivery of services and e-governance which will rest completely on how quickly internet connectivity is rendered available. Only when high speed internet connectivity is ushered in for the large, untouched parts of interior and rural India, the feasibility of government’s roadmap in terms of eKranti and financial inclusion, e-healthcare etc can even be discussed or analyzed. At this juncture, when ubiquitous nature of computing has been adopted by the developed countries, insistence on broadband, desktops and legion of similar devices will become outdated by the time we make them available in a decade’s time. By 2025, new technologies will be in place when our momentous plan of Digital India would remain an unrealized dream if we do not implement it at lightening pace and upgrade it continuously as other countries like Japan have done it. India’s tryst with the

digital began with the telecommunications revolution. We laid the foundation for the digital when telecommunication made its way in rural India. However, we have not transformed this progress into an opportunity for the digital to spread in the remotest parts of the country. Initiatives like AADHAR stand out as exception but mainstream government systems still languish in another century. For instance, education is way out of sync with Digital India initiative.

Digital India, at this stage, is at best a catchphrase but it has the potential to transform India if we can align all ‘existing systems, practices and interests’ to the single goal of Digital India and structurally metamorphose a few of the systems so that they do not become hurdles on the way. The key to all of this will also rest on a deeper change- mindset in the bureaucracy and part of the government.

​For Digital India, we need a mindset that allows change at the speed of the digital and makes room for digital ubiquitous processes and services in place of time-bound, space-bound antiquated norms that govern the country at the moment. The Digital will have to cease to be a novelty or exception and become the order of the day. From being an elusive ideal and exclusive monopoly of the urban rich, it has to transform into a norm by which government and bureaucracy think, operate and implement and by which we, the people of India, receive, recognize and reciprocate seamless information, data and services. Digital India is not an idea but an ideal that needs our collective endeavours to become an actionable idea and a tangible reality.

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