9 Pillars of Digital India: Digital India is a great initiative by the Indian government to transform the country into a digitally empowered society. This Digital India campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st July, 2015.
The main aim of Digital India is to use technological advancements to improve lives across the nation. The Government wants to expand internet access, improve online infrastructure, deliver government services electronically.
With Digital India, people in rural villages will get high-speed internet and be able to access all government related services and global information easily and quickly.
9 Pillars of Digital India
Government have outlined 9 key areas, called pillars, that Digital India will focus on. Now let’s look at those nine pillars of Digital India that support Digital India programme and understand what each pillar means.
1. Broadband Highways
The first pillar of Digital India focuses on expanding broadband internet across rural and urban India.
The government wants to expand high-speed broadband to reach over 200,000 gram panchayats (villages councils) by 2024.
This will help provide e-services and information to rural populations. Students can access online education. Farmers can get agriculture tips and sell crops online. Villages can access telemedicine and e-health resources. So expanding rural broadband internet expands opportunities.
In cities, the goal is that internet is available wherever you go – on your phone, in public places like airports and railways stations, hospitals, universities etc.
The government is working with telecom companies to ensure widespread mobile and public WiFi networks in urban areas.
National Optical Fiber Network
This project aims to lay optical fiber across India to provide the backbone for increased broadband connectivity. Optical fiber allows internet signals to travel at the speed of light!
The government is collaborating with technology companies to install nearly 1.5 million miles of optical fiber. This will act as the highway to provide faster broadband across India.
2. Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
Another essential pillar is increasing and improving mobile phone networks across India. The aim is to provide seamless mobile connectivity even in remote rural areas. This expands access to the internet, digital financial services, e-governance and more.
Some targets under this include:
- Increase network coverage to over 90% of India’s villages. This means people in rural communities can also benefit from digital services.
- Upgrade networks from older 2G/3G to high speed 4G/5G internet. Faster speeds allow you to watch videos, download apps & use more services.
- Make voice calls and SMS available pan-India even from remote locations. This keeps everyone connected.
So improving mobile networks is about leaving no one behind in India’s digital journey!
3. Public Internet Access
This pillar focuses on providing public access to the internet and digital services across India.
Common Service Centers
Over 100,000 Common Service Centers in rural areas provide government and business services to citizens. The goal is to convert these into digital service hubs with computer access and internet connectivity.
This allows rural citizens to easily access e-services – from applying for government documents like Aadhar or PAN card, filing taxes, utility payments and more.
India has over 150,000 post offices, even in small towns and villages. Digital India aims to convert post offices into Multi-Service Centers providing public internet access.
Citizens can visit their local post office for digital services instead of traveling far. Students can do research or apply for colleges. Farmers can access agriculture e-portals. So post offices become digital access points.
This pillar focuses on delivering government sectors services electronically to citizens. The goal is to make interactions with different government departments easy and efficient.
Some initiatives under this include:
- Online applications – Citizens can apply for documents like passports, PAN cards, or welfare benefits online instead of waiting in long queues.
- Digital databases – Police verification, land records, tax filings etc. are digitized for easy online access. No more paperwork!
- Mobile apps – Common services like utility bill payments or property registration are available on mobile apps.
- Paperless governance – Electronic file processing improves efficiency. Digital signatures enable paperless workflows.
- Process automation – Workflow inside government departments is automated for faster and transparent processes.
- Grievance redressal – Online mechanisms allow citizens to easily register feedback or complaints.
E-Kranti focuses on driving growth and development through digital technologies. Some key initiatives under this pillar are:
- Digital Payment – Promoting digital payment systems like UPI, mobile wallets, BHIM app to enable cashless transactions, improved transparency and convenience.
- Digital education – Providing online classes, resources and tools to make learning interactive.
- Digital healthcare – Remote consultations, online records and e-health resources improve healthcare access.
- E-commerce – Enabling farmers, small businesses to sell their products online and support financial growth.
- Cyber security – Securing India’s digital infrastructure and online data through encryption, cyber safety awareness.
- E-sign – Digital signatures to authenticate legal documents reducing paper usage.
6. Electronics Manufacturing
This pillar focuses on promoting domestic manufacturing of electronics like smartphones, TVs and setup semiconductor chip fabrication units in India.
Currently, we import most of our mobiles, laptops and electronic devices. Boosting local manufacturing will enable India to meet its electronics demand domestically instead of imports.
It also supports the Make in India initiative for boosting India’s manufacturing capacity and economic growth. Jobs in electronics manufacturing sector will also increase.
Policies like tax incentives, subsidies and loans support companies to setup manufacturing units in India. Developing a skilled workforce through technical training is also a focus area.
7. IT for Jobs
This Digital India pillar focuses on training people with IT skills for job opportunities in the digital economy. Some initiatives include:
- Training programs on software development, programming languages, app building for youth even in small towns.
- Upskilling government employees on using digital tools and technologies.
- Promoting BPO/BPM industry by providing language and technical skills.
- Building capacity of trainers through digital master training programs.
Developing IT skills and knowledge prepares Indians for success in the digital age in fields like software engineering, data science, digital marketing and more.
8. Information for All
This pillar focuses on proactive engagement between the government and citizens through open data platforms and social media.
Some key initiatives include:
- Online open data platforms like data.gov.in which provide important national statistics & data for transparency.
- Social media presence of government departments on Facebook, Twitter etc for public interaction.
- Citizens engagement portal MyGov.in to share ideas and feedback with policy makers.
- Push-notifications on latest government schemes, announcements via SMS and emails.
- Use of radio, community networks to improve last-mile information outreach.
9. Early Harvest Programs
To build momentum for Digital India, some early harvest programs have already been kicked off.
For example, biometric attendance systems have been implemented in government offices to digitize recording of employee attendance. Email is being adopted as the primary channel of communication within the government.
Public WiFi hotspots have been enabled in key areas to provide internet access. SMS based weather and disaster alerts have also been rolled out across many states.
Such early initiatives help demonstrate tangible benefits of a digital government and prime further digital growth. So this pillar highlights digital tools for citizen-government collaboration for social benefit.
In summary, Digital India’s 9 pillars highlight the key focus areas – from broadband infrastructure, mobile networks, electronics manufacturing to e-services, digital skills and empowerment.
Together, these pillars showcase a vision to transform India into an empowered digital society and knowledge economy. With many digital innovations implemented under these pillars, Digital India aims to bridge the digital divide and provide growth opportunities for every Indian!