Digital India is a program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Digital India Campaign is far more serious and realistic than just providing free internet compromising net neutrality. Let’s have a look at what actually this campaign is all about.
Digital India – History
Digital India campaign is restructured version of National e-Governance Scheme which started in 2006 under Mission Mode Project.
The modest beginning of e-Governance started in India in the early 90s but since those initiatives were yielding no or little results so in 2006 government decided to launch National e-Governance Program on Mission Mode basis but even under NEGP results were on slower pace so that new Government decided to restructure the Program into Digital India Campaign.
The government came with slogan IT + IT = IT which says Information Technology + Indian Talent = India of Tomorrow
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Three Key areas under Digital India Campaign
- Digital Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen
- Governance Services on Demand
- Digital empowerment of Citizen
Pillars of Digital India
- Broadband Highway
- Universal access to mobile connectivity
- Public interest access program – National Rural Internet Mission
- e-Kranti: Electronic delivery of services
- Information for all
- Electronic manufacturing
- IT for jobs
- Early Harvest Program
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Effective monitoring system
Strong monitoring strategy of the program is one of the key features that need to be appreciated, because, in our country, most of the ambitious plans fail due to lack of monitoring and control. There will be three types of committee with well-defined responsibilities. These are –
- In the form of a monitoring committee
- In the form Digital India Advisory committee
- In the form of a committee of Apex committee
The chairman of Monitoring committee by the Prime Minister himself, the advisory committee will be headed by Minister of Communication and IT, Apex committee will be headed by Cabinet Secretary.
Budget and Target Duration
An amount of Rupees 1,13,000 Crore is the total budget of the campaign.
Targets under the campaign to be achieved between 2014 to 2018.
Program till so far is very slow thus we may miss most the targets by miles.
We are not focussed on Integrating technology with language. India is a diverse country – in language, culture, laws – which varies from state to state.
Lack of inter-ministerial, inter-departmental, inter-governmental (among states), inter-agency collaboration and collaborative effort.
The initiative started under Nation Optical fibre Network which is very vital and important for Digital-India campaign. need to be accelerated because till so care progress is dead slow.
Internet and cyber crimes are inseparable entities and steps being taken for safe, protected, secure use of cyberspace are not adequate. Digital India must be clubbed with cybersecurity.
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Net Neutrality vs Digital India
There is no way we can allow any compromise with the principle of net neutrality or let anyone redefine it as per convenience. Even if it can give rise in the number of internet user in short-term but in the long run it is not going to help and trigger larger issues such as ownership of the internet.
It is a worth cost to pay for the greater gain in future if net neutrality is slowing the pace of the Digital India Campaign to reach closer to the last user.