Digital India

Prime minister Narendra Modi launched his another pet project Digital India and India Inc has committed Rs 4.5 lakh crore investment and promised to create about 18 lakh jobs as part of the initiative.

This post tries to give you complete details regarding digital India , its 9 pillars and the details in them.Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple Government Ministries and Departments. It weaves together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single, comprehensive vision so that each of them can be implemented as part of a larger goal. Each individual element stands on its own, but is also part of the entire Government. Digital India is implemented by the entire Government and being coordinated by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY).

The vision of Digital India is centred on three key areas,

Infrastructure as Utility to Every Citizen

  • High speed internet as a core utility shall be made available in all Gram Panchayats.
  • Cradle to grave digital identity – unique, lifelong, online and authenticable.
  • Mobile phone and Bank account would enable participation in digital and financial space at individual level.
  • Easy access to a Common Service Centre within their locality.
  • Shareable private space on a public Cloud.
  • Safe and secure Cyber-space in the country.

 Governance and Services on Demand

  • Seamlessly integrated across departments or jurisdictions to provide easy and a single window access to all persons.
  • Government services available in real time from online and mobile platforms.
  • All citizen entitlements to be available on the Cloud to ensure easy access.
  • Government services digitally transformed for improving Ease of Doing Business.
  • Making financial transactions above a threshold, electronic and cashless.
  • Leveraging GIS for decision support systems and development.

Digital Empowerment of Citizens

  • Universal digital literacy.
  • All digital resources universally accessible.
  • All Government documents/ certificates to be available on the Cloud.
  • Availability of digital resources / services in Indian languages.
  • Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance.
  • Portability of all entitlements for individuals through the Cloud.

Scope of Digital India

The overall scope of this programme is:

  • to prepare India for a knowledge future.
  • on being transformative that is to realize IT (Indian Talent) + IT (Information Technology)  = IT (India Tomorrow)
  • making technology central to enabling change.
  • on being  an Umbrella Programme – covering many departments.
  • The programme weaves together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single, comprehensive vision, so that each of them is seen as part of a larger goal. Each individual element stands on its own, but is also part of the larger picture.
  • The weaving together makes the Mission transformative in totality.
  • The Digital India Programme will pull together many existing schemes which would be restructured and re-focused and implemented in a synchronized manner.  The common branding of the programmes as Digital India, highlights their transformative impact.

Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the following nine pillars of growth areas,

9 Pillars of Digital India

9 pillars of Digital India

1.Broadband Highways


  • This covers three sub components, namely Broadband for All Rural, Broadband for All Urban and National Information Infrastructure.
  • Under Broadband for All Rural, 250 thousand village Panchayats would be covered by December, 2016. DoT will be the nodal Department and the project cost is estimated to be approximately Rs. 32,000 Cr.
  • Under Broadband for All Urban, Virtual Network Operators would be leveraged for service delivery and communication infrastructure in new urban development and buildings would be mandated.
  • National Information Infrastructure would integrate the networks like SWAN, NKN and NOFN along with cloud enabled National and State Data Centres. It will also have provision for horizontal connectivity to 100, 50, 20 and 5 government offices/ service outlets at state, district, block and panchayat levels respectively. DeitY will be the nodal department and the project cost is estimated to be around Rs 15,686 Cr for implementation in 2 years and maintenance & support for 5 years.

2. Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity

  • The initiative is to focus on network penetration and fill the gaps in connectivity in the country.
  • All together 42,300 uncovered villages will be covered for providing universal mobile connectivity in the country.
  • DoT will be the nodal department and project cost will be around Rs 16,000 Cr during FY 2014-18.

3.  Public Internet Access Programme


  • The two sub components of Public Internet Access Programme are Common Service Centres and Post Offices as multi-service centres.
  • Common Service Centres would be strengthened and its number would be increased from approximately 135,000 operational at present to 250,000 i.e. one CSC in each Gram Panchayat. CSCs would be made viable, multi-functional end-points for delivery of government and business services. DeitY would be the nodal department to implement the scheme.
  • A total of 150,000 Post Offices are proposed to be converted into multi service centres. Department of Posts would be the nodal department to implement this scheme.

4. e-Governance – Reforming Government through Technology

  • Government Business Process Re-engineering using IT to improve transactions is the most critical for transformation across government and therefore needs to be implemented by all ministries/ departments.

The guiding principles for reforming government through technology are:

  1. Form simplification and field reduction – Forms should be made simple and user friendly and only minimum and necessary information should be collected.
  2. Online applications, tracking of their status and interface between departments should be provided.
  3. Use of online repositories e.g. school certificates, voter ID cards, etc. should be mandated so that citizens are not required to submit these documents in physical form.
  4. Integration of services and platforms, e.g. UIDAI, Payment Gateway, Mobile Platform, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) etc. should be mandated to facilitate integrated and interoperable service delivery to citizens and businesses.
  • Electronic Databases – all databases and information should be electronic and not manual.
  • Workflow Automation Inside Government – The workflow inside government departments and agencies should be automated to enable efficient government processes and also to allow visibility of these processes to the citizens.
  • Public Grievance Redressal – IT should be used to automate, respond and analyze data to identify and resolve persistent problems. These would be largely process improvements.

5. e-Kranti (NeGP 2.0) – Electronic delivery of services


  • There are 31 Mission Mode Projects under different stages of e-governance project lifecycle. Further, 10 new MMPs have been added to e-Kranti by the Apex Committee on National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) headed by the Cabinet Secretary in its meeting held on 18th March 2014.

Technology for Education – e-Education

  • All Schools will be connected with broadband.  Free wifi will be provided in all secondary and higher secondary schools (coverage would be around 250,000 schools). A programme on digital literacy would be taken up at the national level. MOOCs –Massive Online Open Courses shall be developed and leveraged for e-Education.

Technology for Health – e-Healthcare

  • E-Healthcare would cover online medical consultation, online medical records, online medicine supply, pan-India exchange for patient information. Pilots shall be undertaken in 2015 and full coverage would be provided in 3 years.

Technology for Farmers

  • This would facilitate farmers to get real time price information, online ordering of inputs and online cash, loan and relief payment with mobile banking.

Technology for Security

  • Mobile based emergency services and disaster related services would be provided to citizens on real time basis so as to take precautionary measures well in time and minimize loss of lives and properties.

Technology for Financial Inclusion

  • Financial Inclusion shall be strengthened using Mobile Banking, Micro-ATM program and CSCs/ Post Offices.

Technology for Justice

  • Interoperable Criminal Justice System shall be strengthened by leveraging e-Courts, e-Police, e-Jails and e-Prosecution.

Technology for Planning

  • National GIS Mission Mode Project would be implemented to facilitate GIS based decision making for project planning, conceptualization, design and development.

Technology for Cyber Security

  • National Cyber Security Co-ordination Center would be set up to ensure safe and secure cyber-space within the country.

6.Information for All


  • Open Data platform and online hosting of information & documents would facilitate open and easy access to information for citizens.
  • Government shall pro-actively engage through social media and web based platforms to inform has already been launched as a medium to exchange ideas/ suggestions with Government. It will facilitate 2-way communication between citizens and government.
  • Online messaging to citizens on special occasions/programs would be facilitated through emails and SMSes.
  • The above would largely utilise existing infrastructure and would need limited additional resources.

7.Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports

Target NET ZERO Imports is a striking demonstration of intent.This ambitious goal requires coordinated action on many fronts

  1. Taxation, incentives
  2. Economies of scale, eliminate cost disadvantages
  3. Focus areas – Big Ticket Items FABS, Fab-less design, Set top boxes, VSATs, Mobiles, Consumer & Medical Electronics, Smart Energy meters, Smart cards, micro-ATMs
  4. Incubators, clusters
  5. Skill development
  6. Government procurement

There are many ongoing programs which will be fine-tuned.Existing structures are inadequate to handle this goal and need strengthening.

8.IT for Jobs


  • 1 Cr students from smaller towns & villages will be trained for IT sector jobs over     5 years. DeitY would be the nodal department for this scheme.
  • BPOs would be set up in every north-eastern state to facilitate ICT enabled growth in these states. DeitY would be the nodal department for this scheme.
  • 3 lakh service delivery agents would be trained as part of skill development to run viable businesses delivering IT services. DeitY would be the nodal department for this scheme.
  • 5 lakh rural workforce would be trained by the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to cater to their own needs. Department of Telecom (DoT) would be the nodal department for this scheme.

9.Early Harvest Programmes


  • IT Platform for Messages

A Mass Messaging Application has been developed by DeitY that will cover elected representatives and all Government employees. 1.36 Cr mobiles and 22 Lakh emails are part of the database.

  • Government Greetings to be e-Greetings

Basket of e-Greetings templates have been made available. Crowd sourcing of          e-Greetings through MyGov platform has been ensured. E-Greetings portal has been made live on 14th  August 2014.

  • Biometric attendance

It will cover all Central Govt. Offices in Delhi and is already operational in DeitY and has been initiated in the Department of Urban Development. On-boarding has also started in other departments.

  • Wi-Fi in All Universities

All universities on the National Knowledge Network (NKN) shall be covered under this scheme. Ministry of HRD is the nodal ministry for implementing this scheme.

  • Secure Email within Government
  1. Email would be the primary mode of communication.
  2. Phase-I upgradation for 10 lakh employees has been completed. In Phase II, infrastructure would be further upgraded to cover 50 lakh employees by March 2015 at a cost of Rs 98 Cr. DeitY is the nodal department for this scheme.
  • Standardize Government Email Design

Standardised templates for Government email are under preparation and would be ready by October 2014. This would be implemented by DeitY.

  • Public Wi-fi hotspots

Cities with population of over 1 million and tourist centres would be provided with public wi-fi hotspots to promote digital cities. The scheme would be implemented by DoT and MoUD.

  • School Books to be eBooks

All books shall be converted into eBooks. Min. of HRD/ DeitY would be the nodal agencies for this scheme.

  • SMS based weather information, disaster alerts

SMS based weather information and disaster alerts would be provided. DeitY’s Mobile Seva Platform is already ready and available for this purpose. MoES (IMD) / MHA (NDMA) would be the nodal organizations for implementing this scheme.

  • National Portal for Lost & Found children
  1. This would facilitate real time information gathering and sharing on the lost and found children and would go a long way to check crime and improve timely response.
  2. DeitY/ DoWCD would be the nodal departments for this project.

Some of the aforementioned projects are under various stages of implementation and may require some transformational process reengineering, refinements and adjustment of scoping and implementation strategy to achieve the desired service level objectives by the concerned line Ministries/Departments at the Central, State and Local Government levels.

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