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#DigitalIndia :Recent Developments- I -
#DigitalIndia :Recent Developments- I

Digital India is an ambitious program and its journey is joyful for two types of people, those who are hardworking professionals and businessmen with caliber and willingness like Mr. Ratan Tata, who believe that whatever be the situations we can do it by putting our best efforts in this process, are enjoying their participation in this and those who are perception makers with leftist mindset and personal interests enjoying by criticizing this program from the very beginning, in all possible creative ways like Digital India #fail and Digital India plan suffers from power cuts, congestion and monkeys…kind of headlines.

When our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi says “डिजिटल इंडिया मेरा एक सपना है” being a professional and patriotic citizen I would say that it is my dream too. In my professional life whenever I led some project it is my experience that sometimes situations does not go in favor of us and we feel crisis but anyways we put our best and drive the project to the success similarly I believe that Digital India is a project and we have a need to look at it in the same light.

Our prime minister often says “I have a dream of a digital India. I will take the country towards mobile governance. Mobile governance leads to good governance which in turn provides transparency. This will increase jobs in the IT sector and the country will have a strong economy, if intentions are clear anything is possible. When we touched coal we converted it to diamonds, when the earlier government touched coal they filled their coffers”.

On 2nd of April 2015 the committee which was set up by PM Modi to oversee and examine the Digital India vision has reported that as of now, 20,000 villages have been connected via broadband under National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) plan. At the same time, it has been decided that NOFN would be renamed as BharatNet.

On 27th March government has approved the launch of National Supercomputing Mission to connect national academic and R&D institutions with a grid of over 70 high-performance computing facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore. The mission would be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) through Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network. Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance. The Mission supports the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.

Global technology companies see opportunity in Mr. Narendra Modi’s commitment to a digital future and are adapting their products to India’s varied climates and external threats. IBM is in discussions to provide software to help several cities make the leap into the digital age. IBM has offered to join the Surat Smart City project, few days back Company executives and officials of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) had detailed discussions in New Delhi to explore areas in which IBM could partner. IBM has implemented smart technology solutions in traffic movement, urban infrastructure and public utilities in several countries and Surat is expecting the company to emulate some of them here.

Network provider Cisco Systems is working with the government in the eastern city of Visakhapatnam to bring more education and healthcare services online. Many of the new digital projects are simply aimed at improving existing civic amenities: time traffic information to help people better plan their journey, or systems that allow individuals to monitor water leakages or waste management and then inform local authorities. On 9th March 2015, Cisco announced a Cisco India Advisory Board comprising five industry leaders to advise the India leadership team on strategic matters and help the company tap new business opportunities in Digital India. Cisco also provided an update on public-private partnerships launched last year: ‘IoT(Internet of things) Innovation Hub’ in Bengaluru, Additional 100 Remote FIR Kiosks to be deployed in Bengaluru, Alliance with Bajaj Electricals to deploy smart street-lights, Smart city training module for Ministry of Urban Development.

Few days back Google India has launched an initiative to promote digital literacy among women. Snapdeal, Axis Bank, HUL and GSK have partnered with search engine for its initiative #TogetherOnline.

John Fowler, who is executive vice-president of Systems at business software firm Oracle, believes that Indian government’s Digital India initiative is going to drive infrastructure changes. Oracle is well prepared to participate in this initiative and ready to provide complete hardware and software solutions in this digital transformation.

The $100-billion Tata Group under new Chairman Cyrus Mistry is making a big foray into the next big wave of digital healthcare and big data services. The digital healthcare business will focus on analytics-based electronic medical records, clinical diagnostics, monitoring devices, home monitoring and mobile tracking of health and wellness parameters. The objective is preventive and predictive healthcare, the digital theme of Tata goes well with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign where the PM talked about making healthcare affordable and within reach of the poor.

Indian online marketplace has partnered with IndiVillage, a social enterprise that provides training and employment on information technology to women in rural India. Under this partnership, sellers on Snapdeal can outsource their imaging tagging, transcription and content development for product descriptions to IndiVillage, creating rural employment. According to Snapdeal, the Indian e-commerce industry is at the confluence of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ and is set become a $100 billion industry in the next 5 years. An integral part of this journey involves making it easier and cost effective for small businesses to sell online.

IT industry forum Nasscom revealed that their CSR initiatives will now be aimed at participating in the Digital India programme. Nasscom Foundation will be working as a direct partner with the government of India on the digital literacy programme under the broader Digital India initiative. The National Digital Literacy Mission, aimed to create digital literacy in one member of each family.

Giving a further push to its Digital India dream, the government on 24th March 2015 launched a new platform in association with social networking service Twitter to facilitate direct communication between leaders and citizens, called ‘Twitter Samvad’, the service is aimed to boost the nation’s e-governance plans. Through this the government bodies can have a direct communication with citizens on a daily basis via Tweets and SMS on their mobile devices.

The Union Health Ministry will soon establish National Medical College Network (NMCN) in which all government medical colleges will be interlinked to create a national task force on tele-medicine to address the problem of scarcity of doctors in rural India. In the first phase, 41 government medical institutions will be interlinked to enhance the technical education skills and provide outreach services or tertiary care services to peripheral health facilities.

On 12th Feb 2015, IT Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad while addressing students at Shri Ram College of Commerce has said that “IT gives employment to about 30 lakh people. Once Digital India becomes reality, we can give jobs to five crore plus people“. Mr. Prasad also said that “there is new wave of start-up IT companies which are developing innovative products. We have got 4,000 start-ups in India. Many of them are back from Silicon Valley, making their own products and making foreign companies run for money. I see they have potential to become Google or Facebook of India. Even Google and Facebook are becoming Indian by developing content in regional languages”.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education and Literacy, presented the Digital Gender Atlas for advancing girls education in India. The tool, which has been developed with the support of UNICEF, will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups such as scheduled castes, schedule tribes and Muslim minorities, on specific gender related education indicators.

Air travelers in India could in the coming months surf the web while flying, as the government is going to introduce Wi-Fi-based internet connections on flights, meeting a longstanding demand of both airlines and passengers. As of now in India, only foreign airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines offer internet connectivity on international flights.

There are good number of initiatives have been taken under Digital India for citizens, to read in detail you can visit Digital India

(Source of facts: different newspapers/magazines)


Devsena Mishra promotes advanced technologies, the startup ecosystem and government business and technology related initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Startup India through her portals, articles, videos and books.