Digital India is an initiative of the Government of India projected at Rs. 1,13,000 crores led by Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, who has laid emphasis on National e-governance plan. With Digital India he aims to integrate the government departments and the people of India by ensuring that the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork.
This is a programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.
Currently on the second leg of his US trip, Modi made the major announcement before CEOs of tech majors in Silicon Valley that the Digital India initiative was an “enterprise for transformation… unmatched in human history”. In collaboration with Google, he also announced a plan to expand WiFi coverage across 500 railway stations in India. During the trip, Modi also had other announcements to make, such as, a $150-million fund from Qualcomm to foster start-ups and cloud services by Microsoft, and a suggestion to Apple on manufacturing in India.
He stated, “As our economy and our lives get more wired, we are also giving the highest importance to data privacy and security, intellectual property rights and cyber security. We will transform governance, making it more transparent, accountable, accessible and participative. I see technology as a means to empower and a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity. Social media is reducing social barriers. Today, technology is advancing citizen empowerment. Technology is forcing governments to deal with the massive amount of data and respond in not 24 hours but 24 minutes.”
Envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), this initiative is certain to impact ministry of communications & IT, ministry of rural development, ministry of human resource development, ministry of health and others, as well as benefit all states and union territories. He received a huge accolade for his speech that touched on a range of subjects, from green energy to the Internet of Things. “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the new neighborhoods of the world. Facebook would be the world’s third most populous country, maybe the most connected of all,” he addressed in his humorous mention.
Looking at the build-out of Digital India, it seems as a massive opportunity. During the big announcement, Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, John Chambers of Cisco and Shantanu Narayan of Adobe flanked the Prime Minister on the stage. All of them voiced for the Modi’s vision of a Digital India and pledged to join the latter on his mission by providing the best resources.
Modi also paid a visit to the Tesla plant, which highlights India’s interest in the company’s solar Powerwall technology. There he was shown around by CEO and Founder Elon Musk. Later in the day, the Prime Minister met the Apple CEO Tim Cook and insisted on to look at manufacturing in India, pressing on the fact that Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn had already set up base over here.
Nadella, Pichai, Chambers and Jacobs also met the Prime Minister separately.