Digital India: Last Mile Connectivity

Dreams turn into reality, sooner or later, it’s all about planning, the honest effort and sometimes unexpected hand of market forces. Dream of Digital India is not new to us. We’ve been hearing the success stories of Digital India for over a decade now. A wide variety of ATMs, CBS bank branches, on- line transactions, on-line bill payment, on-line shopping sites, cab rides, mobile recharges, on-line complaint filing and many more are a part of our daily life. Government is also moving in this direction and taking Digital India campaign as top priority for e-governance.

There is a flip side of this feel good e-governance and Digital India. It is a common observation that “there are many India’s inside India”. We have separate social structures, monitory structures and infrastructures for rural and urban India. Up till now we have seen that this mission is little success in urban centers but due to lack of basic IT infrastructure, education and other social factors most of the rural India is unaware of this technology revolution which can change their lives. The Success of Digital India is dependent on following few parameters most of which come under state domain:

1. Availability of broadband connectivity throughout the country and a strong low cost distribution network controlled by public agencies or under PPP scheme.

2. Up gradation of IT Infrastructure within government departments and maximum use of online transactions in healthcare, departments providing basic amenities, judiciary and public welfare.

3. Emphasizing on digital literacy especially in rural India by including IT education at every level of formal education. Digital literacy needs to be adopted as a national policy like MNREGA and making every gram panchayat under its reach. Agencies like NIELIT are already working in this direction. Projects like NMEICT of MHRD need to expand its reach and should bring even primary schools under its preview.

4. Making availability of low-cost IT devices (Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Mobiles), to be used by poor sections of society for IT enabled services.

Efforts are on to make this campaign a success and bring India on the world map of e-governance