#DigitalIndia : Highlights of Digital India Week and Recent Developments II

In this article, I’m sharing some recent updates of Digital India, you can also view my earlier articles:

#DigitalIndia and #DigitalIndia: Recent Developments I

Here are the 13 launches made at Digital India Week:

Digital Locker: It is aimed at minimizing the usage of physical documents and enabling sharing of e-documents across agencies and individuals. Hassle-free registration can be done for SIM cards, LPG connections and driving licenses. It will speed up issuance of certificates such as birth, marriage and domicile. One can store and share important documents such as PAN cards, passports and educational certificates.

National Scholarship Portal: National Scholarships Portal is one-stop solution through which various services starting from student application, application receipt, processing, sanction and disbursal of various scholarships to Students are enabled.

eHospital: It is an integrated Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) which now runs in almost 30 major public hospitals across the Country, including premier institutions such as AIIMS and RML in Delhi and NIMHANS in Bangalore. Citizens can avail of online services such as registration and appointment, pay fees, view diagnostic reports and check blood availability.

eSign: eSign is an online electronic signature service which can be integrated with service delivery applications via an open API to facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document. Using authentication of the Aadhaar holder through Aadhaar e-KYC service, online electronic signature service is facilitated.

Digitize India Platform: DeitY has undertaken an initiative namely Digitize India Platform (DIP) for large scale digitization of records in the country that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.


MyGov Mobile App: Through this innovative platform, the government encourages citizens to participate in policymaking by giving ideas and suggestions. As many as 212 issues have been put up for discussion in the MyGov.in web platform since July 2014.

Swachh Bharat Mission App: This mobile app will resolve the issues and challenges faced by citizens and government organizations while taking swachhata (cleanliness) pledge and uploading of responses (images or videos) in the Swachh Bharat campaign on MyGov.

BharatNet: It is the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fiber to connect each of 2.5 lakh gram panchayats with a minimum of 100 Mbps bandwidth. Bharatnet will serve as the infrastructure backbone of Digital India, to facilitate delivery of e-Governance, e-Health, e-Education, e-Banking, internet and various other services.

Wi-Fi Hotspots: BSNL has launched Wi-Fi services at 78 hotspots over 17 locations across 6 cities to provide affordable, anywhere and anytime, high-speed broadband services while on the move. About 2,500 hotspots are planned to be set up by BSNL in FY16. These would essentially be in tourist destinations and government buildings dealing with people’s issues.

Next Generation Network (NGN): NGN technology will converge public switched telephone network, data network and wireless mobile network to enable high speed broadband across the country. This would provide for the first time value-added services such as video chats, video conferencing and other services now available on mobile phone on fixed line telephone at nominal prices.


Centre for Flexible Electronics: National centre for Flexible Electronics was established in 2014 through a grant from Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) under ESDM scheme of Electronics Policy 2012 of Government of India and support from the Institute (IIT Kanpur). This centre will function as a nodal point in India to bring academia, industry and public research organizations under one umbrella for research and development of large area flexible electronics.

Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT): Centre of Excellence on Internet on Things (IoT) is a joint initiative of Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), ERNET and NASSCOM. IoT is the emerging technological advancement in IT/ITeS sector, which is expected to swamp the connected digital world. The Centre of Excellence for IoT is expected to promote a vibrant IoT ecosystem, helping India attain a leadership role in the field.


Electronics Development Fund Policy: The objective of this policy is to create a self-sustaining eco-system of venture funds that shall fill the gap currently seen in the domains of early stage angel funding and venture funding in the technology areas of electronics, nano-electronics and IT. Electronics Development Fund (EDF) Policy aims to promote Innovation, R&D, and Product Development and to create a resource pool of IP within the country to create a self-sustaining eco-system of Venture Funds.

Other policies: A number of Policy initiatives have been undertaken by DeitY in the e-Governance domain like e-Kranti Framework, Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India, Framework for Adoption of Open Source Software in e-Governance Systems, Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Government of India, E-mail Policy of Government of India, Policy on Use of IT Resources of Government of India, Policy on Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications, Application Development & Re-Engineering Guidelines for Cloud Ready Applications. BPO Policy has also been approved to create BPO centres in different North Eastern states and also in smaller towns of other states.

Let’s take a look at recent development, company wise:

Tech Mahindra– Three days back Defense Minister Mr. Manohar Parikar launched a new automation software, ARPAN 3.0 for the over 12 lakh soldiers of the Indian Army which would provide them easy access to their service records including pay and leave details and transfer and postings among others. It is an upgraded version of ARPAN 2.0, which has been used to partially digitize the records. The software has been developed jointly by the Army Software Development Centre (ASDC) and Tech Mahindra. The software would be used across 45 of the Army’s record offices in the country in a year. Other long-term plans of the army include developing automation applications for equipment procurement, storage, maintenance, logistics management and a geographic information system (GIS), connectivity for which is provided through the secure Army Data Network, available to all units of the Indian Army.

Tata– Tata Trusts, chaired by Ratan Tata, has tied up with Google and Intel to help women access the Internet in large numbers. Under the “Internet Saathi” programme, 1,000 specially designed bicycles having connected devices will give villagers an experience of Internet over a period of four to six months. The initiative aims to cover 4,500 villages over the next 18 months, starting with Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand and targets to reach out to about five lakh women.

TCS– Tata Consultancy Services is going to train 100,000 of its employees in digital technologies as it gears up for fast growth in the space. TCS has around 320,000 employees and has been running online training programs for digital skills, TCS employees have underwent 2.59 million days of online training in technologies and domains, resulting in 72,000 new certifications, 400,000 courses completed and 120,000+ competencies acquired, in the last year. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), India’s largest IT services company, said it will continue to make significant investment in the digital space and expects that government-led initiatives will drive growth in the near future. TCS has been the biggest technology provider to the government, including for the electronic initiatives ‘Passport Seva’ and income tax e-filing.

Wipro– Wipro Digital, the digital business unit of Wipro Ltd has announced that it has been appointed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) as its official digital technology services partner for three years. LTA, the governing body for Tennis in Great Britain, is looking to develop an IT and digital roadmap to drive its strategy, which focuses on increasing participation in the sport of Tennis.

Reliance– On 1st of July, Mukesh Ambani has announced that Reliance will commit Rs. 2.5 Lakh crore for ‘Digital India’, Reliance Industries will make an investment of over Rs. 250,000 crore in the digital space, including rollout of wireless broadband infrastructure and manufacturing of mobile handsets. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is also setting up a new nationwide distribution network that will enable over a 150,000 small electronic retailers to sell and service smartphones and Internet devices.

Cisco– The $49 billion networking giant Cisco will partner the Indian government in the $15.6 billion Digital India campaign to take IT-based network through a string of projects and high-speed internet highway to villages and the rural hinterland. Cisco chairman and managing director John Chambers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2nd of July, ahead of firming up the technology giant’s plans for expansion in India with an investment of $1.7 billion in phases. On the same day Cisco also announced investments worth $40 million on its expansion plans and $20 million for Cisco Networking Academy to train 120,000 students in India for jobs in digital economy. Cisco, that already employs over 10,000 professionals in India across cities like Delhi, national capital region, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, has the largest research and development network outside US. The India- based R&D set up alone employs over 8,000 technology geeks.

HP– Nasscom Foundation and HP have joined forces to propel government of India’s National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) by donating five mobile container classrooms. The shipping containers converted into mobile classrooms will be deployed in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore and Rajasthan with the capacity to train 6,000 beneficiaries on digital literacy and Hewlett Packard (HP) Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (LIFE). The cloud enabled and readily deployable shipping container classrooms will be equipped with technology, products, internet and HP LIFE e-learning solutions.

The 40 foot X 9 foot container classrooms come with a host of benefits. Once the beneficiaries around an area where the mobile classroom is located get trained, it can be moved to a new location to offer these benefits to a new set of people in need. The financial burden of construction and real estate associated with a brick and mortar classroom are done away with in this portable format. The initiative focuses on helping people living in economically backward areas to become skilled in availing the benefits offered by the social media, e-commerce, internet and others and get business and vocational training.

Intel– Intel and Department of Electronics and IT (DietY) have joined hands to assist youngsters throughout the nation develop into extra accountable whereas utilizing the web. The Digital Wellness Online Challenge (DWOC) initiative’s goal is to impart students with info and software with the rules of cybersafety, cybersecurity and cyberethics. Presented within the type of a quiz, it’s out there solely from July 1-7 and open to students of Class 6 to 12, answerable in each Hindi and English.

Intel India and the Department of Science and Technology are beckoning the innovators and entrepreneurs for entering the Intel & DST – “Innovate for Digital India Challenge”. The challenge is aimed at fostering a culture of innovation, create solutions that can address local needs and build an empowered ecosystem for pervasive technology adoption in the country. The challenge is open to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, innovators, academia, designers, engineers and makers from diverse backgrounds. Participants of the Intel & DST – ‘Innovate for Digital India Challenge’ will be mentored by industry stalwarts and Intel experts. The participants will be trained in technical know-how, will be provided access to product kits and infrastructure and multiple commercialization opportunities. They will be offered market linkages and access to funds at various stages to enable them to make their solutions readily deployable. The challenge has been designed in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), with support from the Department for Electronics and Information Technology, MyGov.in and will be managed by IIM Ahmadabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship.

Microsoft– CEO Satya Nadella has committed partnership in a smart city and a digital village in Maharashtra, following a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The software giant agreed to provide advanced technology for improving healthcare services in remote and malnourished tribal belts. Maleghat in Amravati will be the focus. Microsoft has agreed to develop a smart Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), like a smart city, in Maharashtra besides this a Cyber Security Centre will also be set up in Pune by Microsoft. Few days back Chief Minister Mr. Devendra Fadnavis visited the Microsoft Cyber Crime Centre at Seattle.

Amazon– Amazon will establish multiple data centres in India by 2016 with an investment of many millions of dollars. The Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis met Joe Minarik, General Manager Strategic of AWSCloud Amazon Web Service to discuss cloud computing services in Maharashtra. AWS showed keen interest in dialogue for evaluating sites for India AWS Region and new investments. The state government assured all help to AWS Cloud if it decides to begin operations in Maharashtra. AWS is the pioneer in cloud infrastructure services and is the world’s largest in the space.

Google– Engaged in various initiatives under the government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign, global tech giant Google is focusing on key areas like bringing more Indic language content online and helping 20 million small and medium enterprises set up Internet presence by 2017. Google is already working with MyGov.in, Department of IT, Ministry of Culture and many state governments for initiatives aimed at promoting adoption of Internet amongst women, promoting digital literacy and Internet safety.  Google has also announced the launch of “Squared” — a 12-day training programme — in India aimed at digital leaders in the advertising domain. According to Google, the programme for advertising professionals will be focused on how to effectively use digital tools like mobile, social platforms and video to create impactful campaigns. Squared was first piloted in Britain, where more than 300 employees from 60 agencies and advertisers participated over a period of time. India is now the sixth market of Squared’s global roll-out following London, Singapore, New York, Hong Kong and Germany.

Statements from Top Business person at the launch of Digital India week:

Rata Tata: A digitally connected India will bring “tremendous power” in the hands of citizens by connecting them to the rest of the world. I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has decided to give so much preference and priority to the fact that India will be a digitized nation.

Mukesh Ambani: In Mr. Modi, India is fortunate to have a Prime Minister who not only paints a comprehensive and compelling vision but has the personal leadership and drive to convert his vision to reality. It is my conviction, Prime Minister, under your leadership; the Digital India initiative will create a partnership among all sections of society… a partnership that will leverage the power of 1.2 billion Indians. A partnership built on the ability and industry of all our citizens.

Azim Premji, Wipro Chairman: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for Digital India is a very powerful one and it is the first step towards empowering citizens with technology.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group: At the Aditya Birla Group, we have been involved in Digital India in several ways. First, we forayed into the telecom sector more than 20 years ago. Our investments in the telecom sector have been in excess of $15 billion, wherein we have laid 100,000km of fiber and have a network of over 150,000 cell sites. To further improve this digital infrastructure, we plan to invest additional $7 billion in areas such as network roll-out and enhancement, broadband implementation and Wi-Fi deployment over the next five years. We have plans to invest over $2 billion over next five years on the projects falling within the ambit of the Digital India initiative such as electronics manufacturing, energy storage, Internet of Things and smart cities.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman Bharti Airtel Ltd: The Company was committed to spending in excess of Rs.1 trillion in the next five years, money that will go towards building additional infrastructure and taking 4G to the masses, among other things.

Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc and Sterlite Technologies Ltd: Sterlite plans to manufacture LCD panels in India entailing an investments of Rs.40,000 crore. This will provide employment opportunities to 50,000 people and cut down electronic imports worth Rs.20,000 crore.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: Microsoft is proud to be a part of Digital India launch and believe that technology can uniquely support the government’s initiatives in key areas including: rural internet connectivity, digital cloud services for all citizens, and communications and productivity services for the Government. At Microsoft, our focus is on empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Likewise, the Digital India initiative is focused on harnessing the power of technology to help India transform. In fact, to help drive this transformation we are bringing our marquee cloud services – Microsoft Azure, Dynamics and Office 365 – to local data centres in India to accelerate cloud innovation, connect every Indian and every Indian business to the world through our global hyper-scale cloud.

Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President – Sales, Asia, Pacific and Japan, Symantec: The ‘Digital India’ programme can indeed empower inclusive and sustainable growth by harnessing the power of talent and technology to create the India of tomorrow. With initiatives such as countrywide broadband access and digital locker linked with Aadhaar and mobile, the possibilities are endless. However, people, their information and country’s critical information infrastructure needs to be properly and adequately secured. As the largest cybersecurity organization globally, Symantec is committed to the Digital India initiative. Recognizing the goals of the “Digital India” agenda and inspired by the vision of the Honorable Prime Minister Modi and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Mr. Prasad, Symantec recently announced a partnership with NASSCOM that intends to train 50,000 cyber security professionals.

Vineet Kshirsagar, Senior Director & Head – Government Business, Oracle India: As the Prime Minister launches the Digital India Week, the dream of being an empowered technology-driven economy is one step closer to reality. Our conviction that India will be one of the foremost countries in the world became stronger last year when the initiative was announced and now our excitement has reached a crescendo. We feel Digital India is no longer an initiative by the government; it has evolved into a revolution, a movement. Oracle has been working tirelessly in the Indian public sector over the last two decades and on this momentous day, we are inspired and overwhelmed to see the exhilaration not just from the government but from the citizens of this nation as well. We congratulate the government on this milestone and want to assure the Prime Minister that Oracle is prepared to support his team to make India a force to reckon with.

Anil Valluri, President, NetApp India & SAARC: Digital India is one of the most significant transformations the country will witness by eventually connecting over a hundred crore people of India, with technology as its focal point. A digitally enabled nation means that citizens will have instantaneous access to government services over the internet, like the Digital locker, e-governance services on demand, access to common service centers among others. The initiative is set digitally empower citizens to use the digital infrastructure as a utility. A digitally enabled nation also means influx of data or influx of terabytes. Digital India would create a huge influx of terabytes and this would mean that the integrity, storage, archival, retrieval and portability of data would be of paramount importance. The Government will need to deploy scale out architectures which can scale as the data volumes grow. Digital India’s success would also be a function of the underlying technology infrastructure with data becoming the nucleus of this thrust.

(Source of facts: Different newspapers)


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.