New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Digital India Week 2022 in Gandhinagar on Monday, July 4. “The Digital India mission of the Union Government has eliminated middlemen, curbed corruption and given a huge relief to the poor”, said PM Modi.
The Digital India Programme was launched across the nation in 2015, within a year of the Narendra Modi government in Delhi. It set out three clear objectives. First, it is able to transform the lives of citizens. Secondly, it has helped to expand economic opportunities in multiple ways.
Today, India has the world’s largest digital identity system – Aadhar. To add, the country was successful in implementing the World’s Largest Vaccination Campaign for COVID-19 through the indigenously developed CoWIN platform – a testament to Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Other areas of success include the development and use of Aarogya Setu App for COVID-19 management and revolutionary DBT (Direct Benefit Transfers) of subsidy and use of fintech.
Union Minister of State for IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar says, “The convergence of the right kind of people to use the right kind of technological resources for the masses prove that India is now in the select list of countries that drive mass campaigns and projects using latest technological interventions”.
The achievements have not just been in conventional areas of R&D, technology development and innovations, but more importantly, in using technology to empower and transform the lives of citizens. It is a tool that has given a new dimension to people’s participation in a democracy. Perhaps PM Narendra Modi is committed to make India a Global Data Centre Hub.
While the rapid rate of digitization has opened new avenues, there are challenges as well. The Central Government and MeitY are working under the 1000 Day Vision plan for the same.
When we talk about Gujarat’s IT penetration and Digital Gujarat programmes, it is important to mention that the administration has successfully reached to more than 6 crore citizens who reap benefits of online services through a Common Service Portal. This CSP project is successfully implemented across the state.
The Common Services Portal was conceptualized by Gujarat Informatics Limited (GIL) and developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in consultation with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat.
According to senior officials in the Gujarat Government, the CSP was conceptualized as a one-stop destination for citizens to obtain information and avail government services.
Let us take a glimpse of major services being catered under the Digital Gujarat programmes. They are matters related to Eligibility certificate for Economically Weaker Sections, religious minority certificate, widow certificate, SC-ST certificate, farmer certificate and curfew pass during COVID-19.
Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel, is a visionary strategist, especially when it comes to vital sectors such as IT and its penetration. He says“Gujarat is moving at a steady pace in the direction of digital transformation. At a time when digital technology is set to become the centrepiece of India’s development, the country’s growth engine, Gujarat, will also play a leading role in the country’s digital revolution.”
More than 300 services of the state government have reached to more than 14,000 villages through E-Gram Centres under Digital Seva Setu governed by BharatNet.
An MoU has been signed by AgroTech company and e-Gram Vishwagram to make government services online for people in villages. In fact, e-Gram centres have been established in more than 14,000 village panchayats of the state.
The Good Governance Week, celebrated between December 26 and December 31, 2021, took up some new innovations vis-a-vis making use of IT penetration.
The Chief Minister also launched a new unit of SWAGAT online and e-Sarkar to make basic governance processes paperless. To add, E-kutir portal and Self-reliance (Swavlamban) to Swarojgar (self employment) were also launched.
Finally, there is no doubt that the world has evolved at a rapid pace, especially after COVID-19. Things have changed in Gujarat and in India too. Gujarat was different in 2001 when Narendra Modi first became the Chief Minister. Things were pursued braving odds and challenges.
IT transformed the lives of the people of Gujarat in unimaginable ways. Other leaders who succeeded Modi have followed his footsteps. Modi became Prime Minister and moved to Delhi in 2014. IT penetration and Digital programmes have been great tools for overall governance transformation even in Delhi.
We can say that Modi’s development card alongside the Digital India, and previously Digital Gujarat initiative, have become game-changers in politics and governance. The Prime Minister and his successors in Gujarat (as the Chief Minister) have been instrumental in making Gujarat’s image as an IT hub Digital popular on the national and global stage.