Being a developing country, 70 per cent of Indians are using the internet and it shows the social inclusiveness of the country. India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital companies. In the last 8 years, India has been digitally empowered in the area of technology. The government of India made its ground for the availability of government services electronically.
The enhanced digital infrastructure and internet connectivity made it easy for citizens to get government services. Due to this, India is experiencing a digital revolution that triggers transformative developments in the areas like e-payments, financial inclusion, health management, digital literacy, rural development, and much more. The Government of India used digital technology to control the corruption flow in social welfare programs. Using biometric identity, government welfare programs connect the bank account of beneficiaries through which citizens receive services, subsidies, food rations, pensions, etc.
Since 2014, the Government of India has ramps up many initiatives like Skill India, Make in India, Digital India, Startup India, etc., digital technology will help in eliminating bureaucratic red tape by providing e-services and help in a more investor-friendly country
This unique feature helps in expanding social inclusiveness and eradicating poverty. The pandemic has helped the country to transform from traditional to digital approaches for handling different kinds of problems. The Indian government efficiently used digital technology to handle the pandemic for Vaccine distribution, hospital bed management, the arogya setu app for covid patient tracking, etc. The covid vaccination program of the Indian government is one of the most digitized and effective programs. India’s Aadhaar identification and covid vaccination programs are the largest digital successful programs by any state in the world.
Digital technology in India has penetrated all the sectors of the Indian economy due to cheap data and the talent of youth which is encouraged by the government. The momentum of smartphone usage has increased five times from 2014 to 2019, which leads to a digital revolution in the country.
India has more than one billion phones out of which 600-700 million phones are smartphones. Low data rates allow people to use unlimited data. India is one of the major countries, where data rates are cheap and accessible to everyone in the country. With this progress, It is expected that India will account for 15 per cent of the worldwide market for 5G networks and 50 per cent of India’s geographical areas will be covered in the coming two years. This development ushers India into a big way for the digital economy.
Since 2014, the Government of India has ramps up many initiatives like Skill India, Make in India, Digital India, Startup India, etc. Digital technology will help in eliminating bureaucratic red tape by providing e-services and help in a more investor-friendly country. Apart from that, for a successful economy, digital technology and infra revolution in the government sector is not enough. Building comprehensive digital infrastructure needs to be a combined action of state governments, industry, and civil society. At the same time, the government can not only invest in digital infrastructure due to the lack of financial resources, but the government can push the private sector to invest in digital infrastructure for inclusive socio-economic growth. Projects in remote villages may not be viable to the private sector, so special attention has to be given to this way.
The Digital Economy can contribute 20 per cent ($ 1 trillion) of the $5 trillion economy vision. In developed countries, governments are spending 1.2 per cent of their GDP spending on digital infrastructure. Our government also needs to acknowledge it and should invest similarly. As part of digital infrastructure investment, India is now building open digital ecosystems (ODEs) composed of digital building blocks. It helps in data storage, which can be used by both government and private sector innovators for providing services to citizens.
During the pandemic, digital technology has seen exponential growth in various sectors. The pandemic has accelerated the existing trends. During the pandemic, people met digitally, people ordered food and goods digitally, payments were done digitally, and the workforce was done digitally.
Digital technology has been playing a critical role in the education sector and many cloud services have been adopted. There are multiple initiatives to provide online education to poor students such as Swayam, e-pathshala, Olabs, NPTEL, etc. In addition to that, the government also proposed a mid-day meal monitoring app to control corruption. The government has proposed a policy to drive secured transactions of welfare schemes
Before the pandemic, many firms seemed to distrust the digital technology capability and expertise of their workforce. But during the pandemic, it is proved that those fears are largely unjustified and not true. Firms’ management has become more confident and is moving forward to invest in digital infrastructure such as cloud services, AI and machine learning, etc. But to ensure long-term success with these technologies, management should ensure that the workforce is efficient, robust, and adaptive like other technologies.
Covid has accelerated the digital transformation in the country. When the world was locked and disrupted physically caused by humanity. Digital technology has been playing a critical role in the education sector and many cloud services have been adopted. There are multiple initiatives to provide online education to poor students such as Swayam, e-pathshala, Olabs, NPTEL, etc. In addition to that, the government also proposed a mid-day meal monitoring app to control corruption.
The government has proposed a policy to drive secured transactions of welfare schemes. 99 per cent of Indian citizens have their aadhaar identification number, which is further interlinked with their bank account and mobile number (Jan Dhan- Aadhar- Mobile number). JAM trinity is a fundamental design for direct benefit transfer (DBT) and a check tool for controlling corruption.
Being a fast-developing country in the major economies, the main challenge for India is to guarantee the smooth distribution of growth over income levels. Digital technology has the highest potential to fill the gap between wealthy and poor customers. However, India needs to remove some roadblocks to succeed in the digital revolution. In rural India, digital literacy is poor. Though the government announced a digital literacy mission, it still poses a challenge in the coming years. With the increased digitalization, cyber crimes and attacks would increase, so precautions need to be taken at an early stage. If India can fulfill the challenges, certainly digital technology will help the country to gain global leadership.
(The writer is research scholar, IIT Varanasi)