India’s IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that the Ministry will take broadband to the doorsteps of the common man through a policy push and a more entrepreneurial ecosystem.
He said that the government will also work proactively to make India an export hub for electronic products.
Digital India is the government’s flagship programme that was launched to ensure that national services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and increased Internet connectivity.
Through Digital India 2.0, the government plans to expand the reach of its earlier programmes to a greater number of people, bring in new technologies, connect people through the Internet, and make India a digitally literate society.
The Minister outlined a vision for the second phase of Digital India. Indian IT companies and its apex software body NASSCOM will participate in the creation of Digital Villages in the country and supplement the government’s efforts in the digital literacy movement.
“One of the priority areas for us is to make broadband available at your doorsteps…in this we want to involve entrepreneurs. Just like a mobile SIM card is available in paan shops, can we do something similar for broadband,” the Minister said at an event celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Digital India initiative.
Cable operators brought television to the doors of the people, the PCO, Common Service Centre (CSCs), and BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) became big movements. The government aims to develop an architecture backed by entrepreneurship and a good policy where broadband is available for all.
The Minister said that electronics manufacturing is a part of Digital India. The government is working to make India a big export hub for electronic products. It has enough human resources and a strong talent pool in this area.
India will explore how 5G and new technologies such as AI can be leveraged under Digital India, mainly in rural areas.
Also, under the second phase of Digital India, the Ministry has selected five varsities for the creation of ICT infrastructure in the country.
The Osmania University is among the five and is benefitted with the creation of ICT infrastructure worth IN ₹15 crores (about US $2.1 million) for Wi-Fi enabled services, with 1,379 hotspots for the entire campus including administrative, academic, and amenities areas that cover 113 buildings.
According to a university statement, the facility is going to benefit the more than 12,000 students, scholars, faculty, and staff on the university campus. It will help them access e-books, online libraries, journals, open education resources, and study materials.
OpenGov reported earlier that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Digital India was launched to leverage the power of technology and make technology more accessible. Digital India has empowered people, significantly reduced corruption, and improved public service delivery to benefit the poor.
He also noted that the initiative is a people’s movement, powered by people’s strength and their efforts to learn as well as innovate.
India’s digital story is one of an ICT-led development with technology that is affordable, inclusive, and transformative.