HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Modi’s ‘Digital India’ dream to come true

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 04, 2014
First Published: 00:58 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:51 IST(4/7/2014)

The Centre will soon roll out a Rs. 500-crore scheme to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious target of “Digital India” by 2019 aimed at achieving transparency in decision-making, enabling quick service delivery and putting all schools on a digital map.

The new scheme would take forward the announcement made in President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to Parliament saying that it would be the “backbone” of the government’s “new ways of working”.

The scheme would have a venture capital fund for enabling start-ups to achieve the desired goal and electronics incubator in Delhi for developing modules that can be up-scaled to a business level.

The government is already funding an incubator in Kerala in public private partnership (PPP) mode to develop indigenous applications for taking forward the government’s national e-governance plan. Some applications developed at the incubator have been used by the government to deliver public services.

The applications have helped the government to get high traffic for online public services. “We have recorded over 120 million (12 crore) transactions in a month,” a senior government official said. But the task ahead is daunting as the government intends to put all public services on online mode and extend it to about 650 districts from the existing 335.

“Digital India” could be a collaborative effort of different ministries with the Information Technology (IT) ministry as the nodal office. Providing online vocational education, connecting all educational institutions including schools on a broadband network, setting up 24 IT training centres in the north-east and ensuring all public services on online mode would be some of the key elements of the new scheme.
A senior government official told HT the scheme would be announced in the budget to be tabled on July 10 with an initial outlay of Rs. 500 crore.

The allocation may be depending on the need as huge IT infrastructure development would take place in the coming years, he added.

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