About Digital India: Vision and 9 Pillars @upscExpress

About Digital India

  • The Digital India programme was launched in 2015, with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • It is an umbrella programme that covers multiple government Ministries and Departments. The overall coordination is done by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).
  • It brings together a large number of ideas into a single, comprehensive vision so that each of them can be implemented as part of a larger goal.
Polity By M Lakshmikant

Vision Areas of Digital India

  • The Digital India programme is centred on following three key vision areas:
  • Digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen
    • Availability of high speed internet as a core utility for delivery of services to citizens.
    • A digital identity for every citizen that is unique, lifelong, online, which can be authenticated.
    • Mobile phone & bank account enabling citizen participation in digital & financial space.
    • Easy access to a Common Service Centre.
    • Shareable private space on a public cloud.
    • Safe and secure cyber-space.

  • Governance & Services on Demand
    • Seamlessly integrated services across departments or jurisdictions.
    • Availability of services in real time from online & mobile platforms.
    • Digitally transformed services for improving ease of doing business.
    • Making financial transactions electronic & cashless.
    • Using Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) for decision support systems & development.

  • Digital Empowerment of Citizens
    • Universal digital literacy.
    • Universally accessible digital resources.
    • Availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages.

Nine Pillars of Digital India

  • Digital India consists of the following nine pillars:

1.) Broadband Highways

  • This pillar covers three sub components, namely Broadband for All – RuralBroadband for All – Urban and National Information Infrastructure (NII)

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.
  • These infrastructure components include networks such as State Wide Area Network (SWAN), National Knowledge Network (NKN), National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), Government User Network (GUN) and the MeghRaj Cloud. 
  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) is the nodal Department for this project.

2.) Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity

  • This pillar focuses on network penetration and filling the gaps in mobile connectivityin the country.
  • As part of the comprehensive development plan for North East, providing mobile coverage to uncovered villages has been initiated.
  • Mobile coverage to remaining uncovered villages would be provided in a phased manner.
  • The Department of Telecommunications is the nodal department for this initiative.

3.) Public Internet Access Program

  • The two sub components of this pillar are Common Services Centres (CSCs) and Post Offices as multi-service centres.
  • Under it, a total of 150,000 Post Offices are proposed to be converted into multi service centres.

4.) E-Governance – Reforming Government through technology

  • This pillar entails, improving the efficiency of government processes through the use of Information Technology.
  • All government databases and information should be in electronic form.
  • The workflow inside government departments and agencies should be automated and it should also allow visibility of these processes to citizens.

5.) eKranti

  • In order to transform e-Governance, and promote good governance, the e-kranti pillar has the following key principles:
  • Transformation and not Translation – All project proposals in e-Kranti must involve substantial transformation in the quality, quantity and significant enhancement in productivity and competitiveness.
  • Integrated Services and not Individual Services – A common middleware and integration of the back end processes and processing systems is required to facilitate integrated service delivery to citizens.
  • ICT Infrastructure on Demand – Government departments should be provided with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, such as connectivity, cloud and mobile platform on demand.
  • Mobile First – All applications should be designed/ redesigned to enable delivery of services through mobile.
  • Language Localization – All information and services in e-Governance projects should be available in Indian languages as well

6.) Information for All

  • Online hosting of information & documents to facilitate open and easy access to information for citizens.
  • Government shall pro-actively engage through social media and web based platforms to inform and interact with citizens.

7.) Electronics Manufacturing

  • This pillar focuses on promoting electronics manufacturing in the country with the target of NET ZERO Imports by 2020.

8.) IT for jobs

  • This pillar focuses on providing training to the youth in the skills required for availing employment opportunities in the IT sector.

9.) Early Harvest Programs (EHP)

  • EHP consists of those projects which are to be implemented in a short timeline. Some of the projects under EHP are:
    • Biometric Attendance.
    • Wi-Fi in All Universities.
    • Secure email within government.
    • Public Wi-fi hotspots.
    • SMS based weather information.
    • National Portal for lost and found children.