EJ Explains: Digital India gearing for the next 'Techade' | Editorji
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EJ Explains | Digital India gearing for the next 'techade'

Sep 15, 2021 20:34 IST | By Editorji News Desk

All the aspirations to the $5 trillion dollar economy have a single backbone, the Rs 1,13,000-crore Digital India program that is now in it’s 7th year.  Launched in 2015 the aim and ambition were simple, to get every nook and corner of India online. So as the nation moves into what is being called the ‘techade’ for India, Here is how Digital India has made us ready to take the leap:   
 
First Step – The Last mile connectivity: 

Meet BharatNet, World's largest optical fiber-based rural broadband connectivity that aims to provide highspeed broadband connections to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across India that has already covered 60% of that target . In fact The number of internet users in India reached 624 million, with a penetration rate of 45% in January 2021. This was made possible by the offering of affordable data, India now has the cheapest data rates globally.   
 
Next Step- The Organisation: 

Having internet was not enough, to be able to provide actual inclusion a mass scale identification system was needed. The 12 digit Aadhaar with over 1.25 billion people registered, is now the largest biometrics database in the world. From Subsidy payout, opening a New Bank Account, filing your returns, getting your passport renewed, the Aadhaar serviced aimed and fulfilled the promise of being the easiest hassle-free KYC. Under Digital India, digital technologies have proved to be cost-effective, act as barriers to corruption, and improve efficiency in the delivery of public services.   

Citizen’s Charter: 

One of the cornerstones of the digital mission is digital empowerment through financial inclusion. Access to data networks through electronic devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, etc, has increased, thus giving the much-needed fillip for the promotion of digital financial services in (rural) India. Digital payments and the introduction of the BHIM App and UPI was a gamechanger for the payments system. Transactions using BHIM have risen 217% in the last two financial years while credit transfers through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) increased by 368%. This reflects widespread adoption of digital channels in the small-value segment ad also a surge in digital financial inclusion driven by hand-held devices and contactless methods of payments or settlements. With it came hand in hand the the booming tech startup ecosystems. 
 
Something for Everyone: The digital mission is not only about empowering the unconnected but also aimed at unleashing entrepreneurial spirits in the new tech India. India has emerged as the third largest startup ecosystem behind US and China. Large scale digital adoption has led to $168 billion worth of startups emerging in India. from Delivery platforms to marketplace providers, healthcare to ridesharing to beauty and fitness Indian startup ecosystem is now home to approximately 38,815 active startups all with the backbone of the digital mission.  
 
Covering the Digital Divide:  The biggest hurdle and strength for the subcontinent is it’s wide demographic, even as last mile connectivity is being spearheaded by BharatNet and supported by falling costs and wider coverage supported by private players the missing piece is the concern of Digital Literacy. Filling that gap is the very aim of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) which has an objective to cover six crore people in rural areas to be digitally literate, with a focus towards empowering women especially in the rural sector.  
 
Pandemic push to the road ahead: 

Digital India stepped up delivery and objective with revolutionary speed during the covid crisis with the delivery of Aarogya Setu App and Cowin interface. With 16 crore installations, Aarogya Setu is the world’s most downloaded contact-tracing app. But the mission is far from over for Digital India, the focus shifts back to governance and services. With soil cards, e-education to e-health mission there are many reforms set to lead India into its techade of digital revolution.  

EJ Explains | Digital India gearing for the next 'techade'

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EJ Explains | Digital India gearing for the next 'techade'

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