As per the records of research firm IDC, Indian software market has grown by 10.7% and today Intel partners with BBNL (Bharat Broadband Network Ltd) to launch initiatives in digital literacy. Digital India is a program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It’s a basic requirement for good governance which government will anyhow needs to fulfill and therefore there is a strong possibility that this project will achieve its target by or before its target end date 2019. Nine Pillars of this program as stated in its vision statement are: broadband highways, universal access to phones, public internet access program, e-governance (reforming government through technology), e-kranti-electronic delivery of services, information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for jobs and early harvest program(which includes electronic messages, greetings and biometric attendance).
This initiative since its launch in August till date is full of happenings… In the month of Sep IT and communications minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad met with Infosys CEO Mr. Vishal Sikka and asked Infosys to led in contributing to the success of Digital India. Recently Google has proposed a network of helium-filled balloons to provide inexpensive internet access to inaccessible areas of the country, while Facebook is interested in partnering the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) program. Alternatively, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has suggested deployment of large, inexpensive, solar-powered drones the size of Jumbo Jets that will be able to fly for years at a time and facilitate broadband connectivity across the world. Facebook is looking to launch a pilot project in Seemandhra. Microsoft, on the other hand, has proposed the use of ”white space” – unused spectrum between two TV channels – to provide internet connectivity in remote areas of India. White space is the frequencies allotted to a broadcasting service but is unused and is considered to have potential for providing wireless broadband internet access in rural areas. Microsoft suggested the use of spectrum in the sub gigahertz band that is unused by Doordarshan. This technology has been implemented in the US and in Singapore and is being tested in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the Philippines. Microsoft is reported to have already submitted a proposal to the Wireless Planning and Coordination wing of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Nearly three months after Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chambers said he will “bet big on India”, the world’s biggest computer networking company detailed plans to invest around $1.7 billion in a year. Similarly, IBM too has invested in laying the foundation for a smart city in India. One of the showcase projects that IBM is working on is Palava City in Mumbai, the city spanning over 4,000 acres will incorporate IBM’s ‘smarter cities’ technology, using advanced, data-driven systems to integrate information from all city operations into a single system to improve efficiency and deliver an enhanced quality of life for its residents. Indian IT players too are keen to provide services. HCL, Wipro, TCS all are gearing up with good offerings. IT- startups and emerging brands have also joined the race, few days back Flipkart founder and CEO Sachin Bansal met Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad and shared his initiative “Flipkart Kaarigar ke Dwaar” which his e-commerce company has launched.
Besides these developments and progress in this program there are some perception makers who are highlighting only its challenges and hurdles. But if we look at the success of foreign policy which helped India in establishing good relation with countries like US, Japan and Australia, we can hope that we will definitely achieve our goal.