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Indian Prime Minister on the progress made by Digital India initiatives

Indian Prime Minister on the progress made by Digital India initiatives

The Indian Prime Minister, Mr
Narendra Modi
, earlier in June talked to a number
of with the beneficiaries of Digital India schemes from across the country, through a video bridge.

An
official press release

stated that the video bridge connected over 5 million beneficiaries, including representatives
from Common Service
Centres
, National Informatics Centres, and National Knowledge Network, the Business Process Outsourcing sector, mobile manufacturing
units and MyGov volunteers. The virtual meeting was the sixth instalment in the video
series conducted by the Prime Minister.

While addressing the beneficiaries, the
Prime Minister said that the Digital India initiative was launched to promote
digital literacy and ensure that all citizens, especially those from rural areas,
are digitally empowered.

He added that the government has worked on a comprehensive
policy to be able to connect villages through fibre optic, digitally educate a
large number of the rural population, provide service delivery through mobile
phones and promote electronic manufacturing in the country. 

Regarding the technology in India,
the Prime Minister said that being digitally proficient has increased people’s
standard of living and has made it easier for people in remote areas to gain
access to decent healthcare and education; he said that the government is
working to ensure that the advantages of technology are available to all
sections of the society.

Through a number digital projects,
services like online payment of bills including the India
Interface for Money (Bharat Interface for Money- BHIM APP)
, online booking of railway tickets, and electronic delivery
of scholarships and pensions to bank accounts are now affordable and are easily
available to the general public.

The Prime Minister discussed the
progress being made by Common Service Centres (CSC) in remote areas of the
country. Common Service Centres function as access points to deliver government
digital services such as e-learning, e-banking, insurance, and healthcare. CSCs
have helped Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) in rural areas and have generated job opportunities for more
than 1 million people. There are around 292,000 CSCs in rural India that provide
opportunities to access various digital government and other services across 215,000 village councils (Gram Panchayats).

The Prime Minister also said that the
move towards more digital payments reduced the need for intermediaries. Digital
payments in India have grown significantly in last four years, making the
Indian economy digital and transparent. 

Digital
India has also transformed the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector
. BPOs were earlier confined to urban areas and cities; now
because of the digital revolution, the sector has spread to smaller towns and
villages, creating more employment opportunities for people that are closer to
home.  

The India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) and the separate BPO Promotion Scheme for the Northeast were
implemented under Digital India and are expected to create employment
opportunities for over 200,000 people in North East regions and in rural areas.

The Prime Minister said that over the
last four years, India has come far in Electronics Hardware Manufacturing. To
promote electronic manufacturing in India, the government has started the Electronic
Manufacturing Cluster (EMC)

scheme, under which 23 EMCs are being opened in 15 states. The project will provide
job opportunities to around 600,000 people. India has established 118 more mobile
phone manufacturing factories since the two that were set up in 2014. These
units have created directed and indirect employment to more than 450,000 people
in the country. 

The National Knowledge Network (NKN) plays a
significant role in building a strong digitally empowered India. The National
Knowledge Network connects about 1,700 major Research and Educational
Institutes in India and in doing so has provided a large platform for around 50
million students, researchers, academicians and government officials across
India.