Digital India

The voyage of e-Governance initiatives in India took a wider dimension in mid 90s for wider sectoral applications with weightage towards citizen-centric services. The national e-governance plan was launched by the government of India in 2006. Following which the states and union territories also started various e-governance projects.

Despite successfully launching the e-governance projects across the country, the desired effects have not been achieved.

The major ICT initiatives of the Government included, inter alia, some major projects such as railway computerization, land record computerization, etc. which focused mainly on the development of information systems. Later on, many states started ambitious individual e-governance projects aimed at providing electronic services to citizens.

Though these e-governance projects were citizen-centric, they could make less than the desired impact due to their limited features. The isolated and less interactive systems revealed major gaps that were thwarting the successful adoption of e-governance along the entire spectrum of governance. They clearly pointed towards the need for a more comprehensive planning and implementation for the infrastructure required to be put in place, interoperability issues to be addressed, etc. to establish a more connected government.

The national level e-Governance programme comprised 31 Mission Mode Projects under National e-Governance Plan covering a wide range of domains, viz. agriculture, land records, health, education, passports, police, courts, municipalities, commercial taxes, treasuries etc. 24 Mission Mode Projects have been implemented and started delivering either full or partial range of envisaged services.

Considering the shortcomings in National e-Governance Plan that included lack of integration amongst Government applications and databases, low degree of government process reengineering, scope for leveraging emerging technologies like mobile, cloud…etc, Government of India has approved the e-Kranti programme recently with the vision of “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.

It is expected that there is need for more effective implementation of e-governance programme and in this backdrop, the government embarked upon the idea of transferring the entire ecosystems of public services through the use of information technology. This led to the birth of Digital India programme with a vision to transform India into digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

Digital Technologies which include Cloud Computing and Mobile Applications have emerged as catalysts for rapid economic growth and citizen empowerment across the globe. Digital technologies are being increasingly used by us in everyday lives from retail stores to government offices. They help us to connect with each other and also to share information on issues and concerns faced by us. In some cases they also enable resolution of those issues in near real time.

The objective of the Digital India Group is to come out with innovative ideas and practical solutions to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a digital India. Prime Minister Modi envisions transforming the nation and creating opportunities for all citizens by harnessing digital technologies. The vision is to empower every citizen with access to digital services, knowledge and information. A group has been created and this Group will come up with policies and best practices from around the world to make this vision of a digital India a reality.