By Pratishtha Sharma, Law College Dehradun.
While flipping through the messages my mobile was bombarded with, I underwent a light bulb moment when I bent my eye towards a message which confirmed my train reservation. The neurons inside my brain went back to the long standing lines we used to undergo to get the reservation till the time I hit the reality of all the blessings digitalised world showered us with.
Digital India is a bright idea for “good governance” by retrenchment of the old traditional forms of governance replaced by electronic services and reduced documents so that the overloaded bundles of paper can retire into the shade. It tries to tabulate digitalised services by hooking up the rural and urban areas with high-speed networks. “A good design is a good business” and therefore digital India serves as a gateway for the mankind to search and explore the world accompanied with a pool of information. The ground work aims at-
1) Digital literacy
2) Digital services
3) Digital infrastructure
It tries to disentangle the complicated and exhaustive process of the government services since the whole world is getting smaller and has corrugated in mobiles and laptops.
“Date late and a dollar short” is the key ingredient of the recipe of digital India which supplies that government labours to save the time and money of the commonwealth. “Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture” and hence our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has set fuel to the fire by bringing “DIGITAL INDIA CAMPAIGN” into cognizance of entertainment through synchronisation and co-ordination of the government and the people on a two-way platform.
The framework of digital India is E-services under which –
The idea of digital locker system is formulated to reduce physical documents and encourage authentication.
E- Hospital application carries with it the ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM where registration, fee payment, reports of patients can be easily accessed. Inch by inch the services are contracting to be electronic and sheer from BHARAT NET project where 2.5 lakh gram panchayats are assembled together to NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS PORTAL etc.
It is a “Discuss” “Do” and “Disseminate” approach. The ever-living burden of heavy bags and books finds a great rescue through Smart classrooms. The pain of endless visits to the government offices, complex procedures, never-ending lines etc. will no longer be endured and everything will just be a click away. National Rural Internet and Technology Mission is a corner stone of this project under which more than 2.5 lakh villages will be able to access the internet services. The objective is to make the ends meet by 2017. Participation and empowerment of the mass forms the centre of attraction of this protocol through e-governance. This will serve as an open stage to remove the veil of numerous hidden capabilities. This will also imbibe the subservience of wifi services, secured mails, easy processing in recognised universities and educational institutions. Nevertheless, modification of all the areas carrying population above 10 lakh into wifi cities is on the go. The programme takes in consideration the security and provides Electronic Security Solution by a wide range of products such as- security alarm system, CCTV systems, access control, metal detection etc. India gave a green signal and is nibbling at the bait to accord the concept of digital India with open arms.
DIGITAL DIVIDE AND BONE OF CONTENTION:
India ranks 3rd for the highest number of internet users in the world yet finds 42nd place amongst the least connected countries in respect of internet voyage. Since every act has weal and woe of its own. The achilles heel of this project needs to be fathomed to accomplish digital India which indeed is defiant otherwise. The moot points forming the backbone needs to resolved which are as follows-
When Benjamin Franklin discovered the electricity he had no clue that it would get so digitalised and need of the hour. In an overpopulated nation like ours, 28 crore people still torments from lack of electricity and electricity shortage is very familiar in India. Government is running the Internet Access Programme under which internet centres will be opened followed by e-services through post offices. But the question to ponder is- how would these centres run with electricity shortage. The condition is so worse that no project for power generation has been announced since past two years. According to Electricity Authorities, in 2015-16, shortage of 24,077 million units will occur.
India stood at 115th place in the world in context of Internet Speed and de facto only 10 crore people out of 1.3 billion in India enjoys the broadband which is not a good scenario. The centre is aiming to provide all the government services online by 2019. The National Optical Fibre Network Programme is running late by 3-4 years. Government aims at providing a speed of 20mbps of broadband connectivity but with low speed internet and less access, this seems a figment of imagination.
Traffic congestion is prevalent in India. The abundance of users to utilize the digitalised banking and communication will create a whole new chain of spectrum scarcity. Even after the dazzling auction of 1 lakh crore, the exigency of spectrum is visible. 92.5 crore subscribers in India are wireless and their increment will create another enigma.
How will the people of rural areas bear the fruit of digital services where 42 thousand villages are going through network drought in the country? Also, E-governance also seems like an ocean of dreams without sound and so is difficult to pave up with. Dis-masking the reality, we found that an estimate of 1 billion people don’t have internet and around the world there are 1.3 billion people who lack access to electricity and about a quarter of them live in India.
E-GOVERNANCE AND IMPORT
Government is trying to connect the people to government services by a common platform under e-governance project. Under Digital India Programme the government is trying to reduce the import of electric appliances to zero but with the necessities the plan seems impossible to endeavour.
Net neutrality will play a stupendous role to execute the mission of digital India with flying colours worth 1.3 lakh crore as an open internet is an indispensable aspect of this programme so that digital economy does not stifle.
Some people think that more critical issues like electricity, water, food and shelter which form a part of the basic necessities should be acknowledged first, where numerous people die due to the scarcity of food.
The wonder-plan of Digital India would be a mirage until we adopt a policy of “access and services.” Access will consist of- continuous electricity supply, cheap and efficient internet and connectivity, training on how to use internet. Services will consist of- mobile apps, sms and mobile alerts, online registration, availability of online forms, bills, etc. The changing needs and rapid developments thus require the commoners to ace up their sleeves with the same. Thus, we can still take the bull by the horns if the management and government carry this project with utmost care and efficiency so that this will not remain a flight of fancy.