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5 Initiatives to Accelerate Digital India Infrastructure

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The Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad said he expected Digital India to be a $1 trillion economy in the next five to seven years. Digital India, a campaign launched by the Indian Government has the aim of providing Government services to citizens through electronic mediums by increasing internet connectivity and improving online infrastructure.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

He spoke at the launch of the first ‘made in India’ phones, LG K series smartphones. It is important to note this because when Ravi Shankar Prasad took over the Ministry of Communication and It, the electronic manufacturing was in a very premature stage. LG is one of the foreign companies that has participated in the government’s initiative to make India digitised at all levels. At the launch of this company’s K7 and K10 smartphones, Ravi Prasad highlighted the five initiatives to ensure the progress of programmes like Startup India and Digital India from a grassroots level.

With an aim to manufacture one million smartphones, LG has started with the plan already and K series have been launched.

“India is home to one billion plus mobile phones, 400 million internet penetration – which is 60 to 65 % mobile based. One billion Indians having a digital identity being kept under the most secure conditions. On just a click of a button one can know the digital identity of Indians with due regard to their privacy. These are being used to promote good governance for the delivery of services” Ravi Shankar

Enlisted below are five initiative taken up the Government of India in order to strengthen the digital infrastructure.

5 Initiatives to Accelerate Digital Infrastructure

  1. 2,50,000 gram panchayat clusters via an optical fibre network

The first step focuses on connecting 250,000 Gram panchayats of India. Before Narendra Modi government, the total optical fibre laid was 357 km whereas the optical pipe laid was about 2200 km. Within the time gap of two years, the Modi government was successful in laying 1,35,000 km of optical pipe and 1,15,000 km of optical fibre across the country. The motive is to have an optical WiFi facility to all the villages, including the inaccessible areas once they cover the clusters of Gram panchayat.

  1. Virtual Mobile Network

The second step is about a recently cleared policy known as Virtual Mobile Network. In this one need not have their own infrastructure and can purchase own bulk talking time from others’ spectrum. After that, they can outsource franchisee-like services across the country, including facilities like the rural internet.

  1. Common service centres

The third initiative is based on common service centres. Before the ‘Digital India’ movement, there were merely 83,000 common service centres. Now, in less than two years, there are 1,57,000 operational service centres in the country. Out of which, a lot are run by cooperatives of women. These centres provide services related to insurance and banking, digital services, digital literacy and many more fronts.

  1. Digitization of Post Offices

This focuses on digitizing 1,55,000 odd post offices in the country. The primary objective is to take on the incorporation of core-banking solutions and banking from anywhere to anywhere with a couple of clicks. Up until 2011-12, there were only 230 post offices that had this facility. With the beginning of 2016, this number has touched 21,000 and by the end of May, the Modi government expects to cover more than 25,000 post offices. In order to facilitate insurance, third party services, postal delivery, and e-education, they also plan to give solar-powered handheld devices to 1,30,000 rural Post Offices.

‘By March next year, we are going to start a payments bank of the postal department. About 60 Indian and global consortiums are willing to partner India Post for third-party services. This includes major lenders such as the World Bank, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Barclays, Templeton’ he said.

  1. Strengthening of business processing outsourcing

This last initiative focuses on sharply accelerating business processing outsourcing centres in tier III and tier IV cities. The government has decided to provide incentives to the rural people in order to create more and more employment opportunities since the digital system in these areas will depend on this.

Source: www.cloudfront.net

Source: www.cloudfront.net

The relationship between these initiatives and the demand for smartphones is direct and clear. With the start of these 5 initiatives in India, there will be a huge demand for smartphones and other digital delivery services. This makes it sure that Digital India will be one trillion dollar economy in the next couple of years. The estimated effects of promoting innovation in a big way would be:

  • Firstly, 400 billion smartphone and related electronic manufacturing,
  • 350 billion IT and IT enabled services, and
  • 250 billion communication services.

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The Digital India launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015 is based on three core elements. The very first is the creation of digital infrastructure, the second being delivering services via digital means and lastly, spreading digital literacy. With this being the basis, India is now home to 230 million smartphones and in the next 2 to 3 years, the figure is going to touch 500 million.

“Every government comes with its own programmes but certain programme becomes transformational – Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Start-up India, Stand-up India, Smart Cities are all transformational programme to make India enlightened, informed and empowered,” Ravi Shankar.

Other than these 5 initiatives towards strengthening the Digital India movement. Here are few remarkable Digital India achievements in the first quarter of 2016:

  1. Job Portal exclusively for differently abled people.
  2. The introduction of ‘Mahila E-Haat’ to empower women entrepreneurs.
  3. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) introduces Unified Payment Interface (UPI) which will help users to perform instant push and pull transactions without any hassle.
  4. First e-Adalat pensioners grievances were addressed and the 138th Defence Pension Adalat was also inaugurated.
  5. Doorshan, a public broadcaster, has started its free ‘mobile TV’ that lets TV work without the internet. This service was launched to mobile phones in 16 cities.

These developments and initiatives are maintaining the momentum of Digital India and we are hence experiencing a digital revolution in India. You must have experienced this drastic change. Tell us your experience with digitization in the comment section below!

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.
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