India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on the fourth anniversary of the government’s flagship programme Digital India, tweeted, “On this day, 4 years ago 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 #DigitalIndiaNewIndia.”
“The Digital India initiative is a people’s movement, powered by people’s strength and their efforts to learn as well as innovate. I salute all those assiduously working to strengthen Digital India and wish them the very best for their future efforts,” he said in another tweet.
To transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of information technology, in 2015, India launched the Digital India programme. Its vision was to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
According to the Digital Bharat, Saksham Bharat, which is a compendium on the initiative, India’s digital story is one of an ICT-led development with technology that is affordable, inclusive, and transformative.
Through Aadhaar, the government has provided digital identities to 1.23 billion residents of the country, covering 99% of the adult population.
The combination of Jandhan bank accounts, mobile phones, and Aadhaar or the JAM trinity is helping the poor receive government benefits directly into their bank account.
Digital payment transactions have grown multi-fold from 3.16 billion transactions in 2014-2015 to 21.82 billion transactions in 2018-2019.
The Bharat Interface for Money-Unified Payments (BHIM-UPI) has grown exponentially in the span of two years. UPI consumers made over 670 million transactions in the month of January 2019 alone. Currently, there are 134 banks offering UPI services to their customers.
The digital delivery of services has simplified the way citizens interact with the government to avail its services. Over the last three years, the National Scholarship Portal registered 14 million students.
During the last five years, 24.8 million Digital Life Certificates were submitted. The DigiLocker programme provides access to over 3.49 billion certificates in a digital format on a single platform.
Also, to make governance easily accessible to people, UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance) was created give citizens access to 339 government services. Services are available through their mobile phones, thus expanding their digital outreach.
There has been a huge growth in electronic transactions for e-governance services. Over 89.19 billion e-transactions have been recorded since its inception, till December last year.
Furthermore, Common Services Centres (CSCs) are bringing e-services to the doorsteps of people in rural areas in an affordable manner.
There are around 312,000 CSCs across the country that provide over 350 services across sectors like education, health, and agriculture. They have generated employment to 1200,000 people including 55,000 women. CSCs have become centres of digital empowerment that are actively involved in increasing the rate of digital literacy.
Through the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) programme the government is implementing the world’s largest digital literacy scheme. Under it, 19.6 million people in rural areas were taught digital literacy, and a total of 60 million more will be trained. This has helped bridge the digital divide and enabled people to more easily access digital benefits.