The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. In the journey towards ‘Digital India’, the Government is attempting a transition from closed, top-down, bureaucratic, and paper-based transactional models towards online, integrated digital offerings that encourage a new kind of interaction between citizens and the state.
DIGITAL India may also be re-defined as the DIGnity and vITALity of India.
The OPPORTUNITIES of DIGITAL INDIA in word-form of DIGITAL…
Positive citizen perceptions around access to government through both traditional and digital channels provide an excellent and distinguish starting point for governments. Governments with resources to invest can commit to improving access and engagement with digital. Those that must cut costs must do so in a way, that builds in digital capacity while locking in strategic gains to date. Either way, digital has the inherent potential to create its own efficiency gains, a clear benefit in any funding environment.
Agencies have made various inroads in breaking down organizational and process silos to better integrate citizen service, and technology has played a large role in facilitating this. As digital programs mature, it will continue to be important to create consistent “one-stop-shopping” service experiences for citizens. Like for Smart cities – In order to be a ‘true’ smart city, cities need to have an integrated approach whereby various projects are connected and most of all the data and platforms are glued together in order to achieve all the benefits smart cities make possible.
What if India had not invented the zero? Perhaps computers would not have seen the light of the day and the world would not be connected through the information technology. With the Digital India programme, India may have an opportunity to inspire and transform the world yet again. Sixty years ago, South Korea decided to change itself in a similar fashion and known as ‘The Miracle on the Han River’, which has helped South Korea to sustain its leadership position across the world. Digital India has the potential to unleash a similar miracle in the land of Ganga.
The concerns for end customers: people, communities, and clients must be integral part of this Digital India programme because they are setting the expectations for digitally-enabled services. The transformation required for digital service delivery at the People level is a transition from managing people to managing the things that help or hinder them.
Although transparency seems to be on the agenda of most governments, results are diffuse and do not reveal a consistent implementation of this principle. Blockchain is a new, powerful tool that is already shaping the future of the Internet with simple, safe and secure transactions. Adopting blockchain technology, Dubai stands to unlock 5.5 billion dirham in saving annually in document processing alone – equals to the one Burj Khalifa’s worth of value every year.
While many citizens are connected today, the digital divide is still a critical concern in countries as diverse in a country like ours.
In a recent survey — 56 percent of respondents think that digitization of government will create a service gap for those without Internet access or for citizens who have not yet embraced digital interactions. Governments have a lot of work to do here. Digital government must be about fostering greater inclusion with programs that go beyond implementation to account for driving lasting adoption among target audiences with unique demographic profiles.
The opportunity of new/lucrative approach which encourage citizen to engage in Digital initiatives. To build effective digital government services that are consistently used by citizens, governments must avoid the trap of simply replicating and digitizing old processes that are inherently ineffective. Instead, when going digital, governments must take a holistic look at existing processes and build online services with a differentiated approach that takes into account, and full advantage of, the entire spectrum of benefits of the online channel.
The CHALLENGES of DIGITAL INDIA in word-form of DIGITAL…
Digital is not yet in the DNA of many state governments. Just as eGovernment performance is not revolutionarily improving, the policy priorities of the consecutive eGovernment action plans have not changed so much. In all honesty, we could doubt to what extent public sector has really advanced over the years in acquiring an attitude that can deliver on the potential of digital.
The biggest challenge faced by Digital India Programme is the slow/delayed infrastructure development. Spectrum availability in Indian metros is about a tenth of the same in cities in developed countries. Also, the digital divide needs to be addressed through last mile connectivity in remote rural areas, as currently over 55000 villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity.
The Gaps in India’s Cashless Infrastructure. While the cashless initiative in India is spearheaded by the government, all development and design work being undertaken by all participants needs to follow a thorough testing process to plug security and fraud gaps. Some of the real-world challenges that financial institutions are facing from a security point of views stem largely from the fact that holistic security of the ecosystem was not given as much emphasis as functionality in the initial roll-out phase.
This point will come into picture when you have allocated the required resources and material but when it comes to implementing them, most of them will be hesitant to change. People are accustomed with years of same practices that they are not ready to change. The number of automated services has remained stable since their first roll-out. The use of legacy software likely has huge complications for the modernization of eGovernment services and can hinder full implementation of this programme.
Apart from many Cyber threats, for the internet of things (IoT) to become a business enabler in India, security considerations must be adequately addressed. At the recent IoT Congress event in Bengaluru, where Deloitte and NASSCOM presented in a new study that India now has 41 IoT use cases, including smart manufacturing supply chain, service operations, transportation /logistics, healthcare, smart governance and smart utilities. Regulators have worked toward including data protection and privacy as part of an IoT framework. For instance,MeitY and TRAI have come up with an IoT framework that mandates certain data security measures.
There continues to be a general lack of awareness in Public Service Departments of how digital technology changes public service design to deliver agile, easy-to-use, consumerized services at lower cost and in a way, that emulates our daily experiences in the private sector. The challenge is to build an understanding amongst public officials of the radical impact that common service platforms might have on their operations and organizational models.
Digital illiteracy is prevalent in most of the towns and villages in India. Cities have adopted digitalization but limited to certain extent. Full-fledged digitalization is cashless transaction on daily basis, use of internet services to get govt certificates etc. This requires administration changes and changes in public mentality. Improving IT literacy is a great task ahead because for the mission to become successful, it is necessary that mass people must know how to utilize the digital services. So, it’s a team work which includes citizen’s responsibility and support to the new system.
Now, it is only we need to move Forward… And the only time we should ever look back is to see how far we have come.
By: Upkar Singh, Director Information Technology, FIS