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The Digital India

The Digital India
The Digital India Programme was launched on July 1, 2015 by the Prime Minister of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. India’s story of digital transformation is a story of Digital Innovation, Implementation and Inclusion. India has pioneered innovative digital projects, implemented transformational projects at population scale, and the benefits of various services and initiatives have percolated to the common man living in the rural hinterland, ensuring digital inclusion. The positive impact of this tremendous journey is being felt in all aspects, in the lives of Indian citizens, which is ensuring digital access, digital delivery of services and digital inclusion of all, based on technology that is sustainable, affordable and transformative.
Today India boasts of the world’s 3rd highest number of Startups with new unicorns sprouting almost every week. During the pandemic, Digital India has played a significant role in the nation’s resilient response. Digital technologies have enabled the Government to reach the remote parts of the country at the click of a button. Post the pandemic, India has emerged as the preeminent nation in the use of technology for a resilient economy and governance.
To celebrate and showcase the work and achievements of Digital India, the Digital India Week 2022 was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The Theme for the Digital India Week 2022 (DIW) was Catalysing New India’s Techade.
During the programme, the Prime Minister launched multiple digital initiatives aimed at enhancing the accessibility of technology, streamlining service delivery to ensure ease of living and give a boost to start-ups. He also announced the first cohort of 30 Institutions to be supported under the Chips to Start-up (C2S) Programme..
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the programme gives a glimpse of a continuously modernizing India in the 21st century. Through Digital India, India has exemplified how revolutionary the correct use of technology is for the growth of humanity. “I am glad that this campaign, which started eight years ago, has been expanding itself with the changing times”, he said.
Remembering the conditions of 8-10 years ago, the Prime Minister said that from the situations of lines for birth certificate, bill payment, ration, admissions, result and banks, India has removed all these lines by getting online. So many services like, life certificate, reservation, banking etc. have become accessible, fast and affordable. Similarly, through technology, under Direct Benefit Transfer, more than 23 lakh crore rupees have been directly transferred in the accounts of the beneficiaries, in the last 8 years. “Due to this technology, 2 lakh 23 thousand crore rupees of the country have been saved from falling into the wrong hands”, he added emphasizing the role of Digital India in curbing corruption. Digital India has brought the government to the doorsteps and phones of the citizens. More than 1.25 lakh Common Service Centres and Grameen Stores are now taking e-commerce to rural India. Similarly, property documents for rural properties are being provided by use of technology.
On the use of technology during the pandemic the Prime Minister said that the power that Digital India has created in the country in the last eight years has helped India a lot in combating the Corona global pandemic. “We have transferred thousands of crores of rupees to the bank accounts of crores of women, farmers, labourers of the country at a single click. With the help of One Nation One Ration Card, we have ensured free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen.” We have run the world's largest and most efficient covid vaccination and covid relief program. Through our Cowin platform about 200 vaccine doses have been administered and certificates given, said the Prime Minister.
“India’s FinTech endeavour is truly a solution by the people, of the people, for the people. The technology in it is India's own i.e. by the people. The countrymen made it a part of their life i.e. of the people. It made the transactions of the countrymen easy i.e. for the people. 40 percent digital transection at global level takes place in India. There is scale, security and democratic values in our digital solutions”, the Prime Minister said.
India’s focus is on skilling, upskill and reskilling 14-15 lakh youths for Industry 4.0 in the coming 4-5 years. Be it space, mapping, drones, gaming and animation, many such sectors which are going to expand the future of digital technology, have been opened for innovation. Provisions like IN-SPACe and new drone policy will give new energy to India's tech potential in the coming years in this decade.
India is working on the target of taking electronics manufacturing to more than $ 300 billion in the next three-four years. India wants to become a chip maker from a chip taker. Investment is rapidly increasing in India to increase production of semiconductors”.
Initiatives launched:
During the DIW, various initiatives as mentioned below were launched.
Digital India Bhashini will enable easy access to the internet and digital services in Indian languages, including voice-based access, and help the creation of content in Indian languages. The key intervention in building AI-based language technology solutions for Indian languages will be the creation of multilingual datasets. Digital India Bhashini will enable massive citizen engagement to build these datasets through a crowdsourcing initiative called BhashaDaan.
Digital India GENESIS (Gen-next Support for Innovative Start-ups). This is a National Deep-tech Start-up Platform, to discover, support, grow and make successful start-ups in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India.  A total outlay of Rs. 750 Crore has been envisaged for the scheme. The platform envisages impacting and consolidating 10,000+ tech start-ups over the course of the next 5 years, especially from Tier-II & Tier III cities. The start-ups will be equipped with the right tools and backed by a conducive infrastructure for starting and scaling up. Digital India GENESIS will pave the road for a more equal start-up ecosystem, one that evenly represents the aspirations of India’s ambitious entrepreneurs for inclusive techno-socio-economic development of India. - a global repository of key projects implemented under India Stack like Aadhaar, UPI, Digilocker, Cowin Vaccination Platform, Government e-Marketplace (GeM), DIKSHA Platform and Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission. This offering of India to the Global Public Digital Goods repository will help position India as the leader in building Digital Transformation projects at a population scale and prove to be of immense help to other countries which are looking for such technology solutions.
MyScheme - a service discovery platform facilitating access to Government Schemes. It aims to offer a one-stop search and discovery portal where users can find schemes that they are eligible for. 
Meri Pehchaan - a National Single Sign On for One Citizen Login. National Single Sign-On (NSSO) is a user authentication service in which a single set of credentials provide access to multiple online applications or services.
The C2S Programme aims to train specialized manpower in the area of design of semiconductor chips at Bachelors, Masters and Research levels, and act as a catalyst for the growth of Start-ups involved in semiconductor design in the country. It offers to mentor at the organisational level and makes available State-of-the-art facilities for design to the institutions. This is part of the India Semiconductor Mission to build a strong design ecosystem in semiconductors.
India Stack Knowledge Exchange
India will get the Presidency of G20 in December 2022. She will also host the G20 Summit in 2023. One of the initiatives that could be shared globally is India’s leadership in Digital Technologies and its experience in implementing Digital Transformation projects at population scale. There have also been requests received about India’s contribution to the Global Digital Public Goods repository. The lessons from India Stack are available for the world to adopt. India Stack, is a unified software platform to bring India’s 1.4 billion population into the Digital Age. The DIW 2022, therefore, included a three days’ long orientation programme for this purpose. This was an event intended to bring together practitioners and Digital Transformation leaders to share their experience in implementing pioneering projects, which have percolated to the Indian citizens across the urban and rural landscapes of the country. This platform, in turn, would help in the formation of an India Stack Knowledge Exchange, which would serve as a collaborative platform and mechanism to replicate some of the digital initiatives.
The India Stack Knowledge Exchange witnessed participation from across the world. The objective was to give an orientation to the basic building blocks of India Stack, which is driving Digital Transformation in India. is a single repository of all major projects on India Stack. 
India Stack’s prime `product, the Aadhaar was showcased in the program. The session on Aadhaar discussed the evolution of Aadhaar considering all challenges of the diverse population, and overcoming these challenges Aadhaar has enabled ease of living for the citizens, especially the most marginalized and deprived class through seamless delivery of subsidies, benefits, and other services under various state welfare schemes. Aadhaar has also been the foundation of multiple Building Blocks. More than 17 transactional stacks have been launched pan-India for Digital Identity, Payments, Data Empowerment and Open Ecosystems.
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a path-breaking innovation in digital payments and how wallets have revolutionized how people pay in the country. India’s payment landscape over the last decade has developed into the most advanced payment system with regards to digital payments by volume and value. The UPI was also showcased at the India Stack Knowledge Exchange.
The participants were informed of India’s achievements in the Education sector through Technology Stack. The session highlighted the significance of the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) in terms of its inclusivity, privacy and security by design.  The NDEAR is interoperable so that all stakeholders, including private players, public players, students, teachers, parents, are productively engaged in the learning trajectory. Also, the framework is designed to have lifetime records so that the learnings can be leveraged in the future. The learning journey will include anganwadi schools, skills and higher education, all working in tandem.
The Paperless Governance and Data Empowerment aspects were also showcased. The significance of Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) was suitably highlighted as a strategy for data empowerment towards economic wellbeing for all citizens of India. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the accounts are online and the interoperability is through RuPay Debit Card or Aadhaar enabled System (AePS). The KYC / e-KYC formalities are now much easier. DEPA enables data protection, sharing, consent and privacy. Citizens can seamlessly and securely access their data and share it with third party institutions. The API Setu is aimed at good data governance and enables quick and transparent software integration with the other e-Governance applications and systems.
The Urban Stack covers various sub-programs such as the Smart Cities Mission, ULIP, DIGIT, and IUDX. The Smart Cities Mission is an ambitious project built around four Quadrant approaches of Information, Communication, Prediction and Management. It also includes three Ps of deployment - People, Policies & Processes, and Platforms. The mission seeks to transform 100 cities to provide the necessary core infrastructure and clean and sustainable environment to enable a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of "Smart Solutions". The Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP) is about effective movement of goods, reducing logistics cost and time, providing real-time information and improving international competitiveness. The Digital Infrastructure for Governance, Impact and Transformation (DIGIT) enabled by India Stack has been implemented in over 1000 cities resulting in impact on 180 Million citizens. Indian Urban Data Exchange (IUDX) has been deployed in 18 cities, and has proved successful in solutions for bus occupancy with ETA (Surat), Safe routes and places (Pune), Multimodal transport (Surat), Efficient solid waste pick (Varanasi), Adaptive traffic lights (Agartala) and flood warning (Chennai).
Under the Technology Stack for e-Commerce are government programs such as the GeM platform built for procurement within the government sector, which manages around Rs 2.5 lakh crore worth of gross merchandise value. Also included in this stack is the Open Network for Digital Commerce  platform, which is a coveted initiative for eliminating monopoly from the platforms by bringing in a completely open-source domain that provides a gateway to buyers and sellers between the platforms. The eWay Bill of the GST network has resulted into about 20–30% efficiency in logistics
The Space Technology Stack showcases ISRO’s vision to harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. Indigenously developed space Technology applications in the areas of Satellite Communications, Navigation, Earth Observation, and Geospatial Data Dissemination are included in this stack. The indigenously developed regional navigation system of India (NavIC), visualization system of India (VEDAS) and Indian storehouse for space-based weather and ocean data (MOSDAC) are crystallizing India’s position as a global leader in space technology. SATCOM’s application for e-Governance namely, Bhuvan, Bhoonidhi and Yuktdhara’s solutions are part of this stack.
Still some distance to cover
There are three Vision Areas under the Digital India Program –
Digital Infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen
The objectives under this vision area are:
Availability of high speed internet as a core utility for delivery of services to citizens
Cradle to grave digital identity that is unique, lifelong, online, and authentic to every citizen
Mobile phone and bank accounts, enabling every citizen to participate in the digital and financial space
Easy access to Common Service Centre
Shareable private space on a public cloud
Safe and secure cyber space
Governance and Services on Demand
The objectives under this vision area are:
Seamlessly integrated services across departments and jurisdictions
Services available in real time from online and mobile platforms
All citizen entitlements to be portable and available on the cloud
Digitally transformed services for improving ease of doing business
Making financial transactions electronic and cashless
Leveraging Geospatial Information System for decision support systems and development
Digital Empowerment of Citizens
The objectives under this vision are:
Universal Digital Literacy
Universally accessible digital resources
All documents / certificates to be available on the cloud
Availability of digital resources / services in Indian Languages
Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance
Clearly from the above, there are areas where work is yet to be completed. The work is rapidly in progress but will take some time to complete. We look forward to Digital India Week 2023!!

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