Success Stories

Issue no 17, 24-30 July 2021

Six Years of Digital India Digital India is an umbrella programme that was launched by the Government of India in 2015 with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The initiative weaves together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single, comprehensive vision so that each of them can be implemented as part of a larger goal. Digital India aims to provide the much-needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, e-Kranti- Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes Let us look at some of the several important initiatives undertaken by the Government in line with the vision of Digital India 1. AADHAAR - Aadhaar identity platform is one of the key pillars of Digital India, wherein every resident of the country is provided with a unique identity or Aadhaar number. The largest biometrics based identification system in the world, Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal budgets, increase convenience and promote hassle-free people centric governance. It is unique and robust enough to eliminate duplicate or fake identities and may be used as a basis/primary identifier to roll out several Government welfare schemes and programmes for effective service delivery thereby promoting transparency and good governance. 2. BHARATNET - One of the biggest rural telecom projects in the world, BharatNet aims to connect all Gram Panchayats with Broadband. The aim is to connect six lakh villages in 1,000 days within the target date of May 2023. As compared to 2014, when only 59 Gram Panchayats had Broadband, 1.55 lakh Gram Panchayats are now connected with Optical Cable Fibre under BharatNet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address on the occasion of 74th Independence Day said, that "Participation of rural India and villages in Digital India is very important for balanced development of India." 3. MYGOV - MyGov is a citizen engagement platform that disseminates authentic information on Government policies, programmes, schemes, guidelines, SOPs, etc. to citizens in a citizen-friendly format through social media platforms. It is a unique first-of-its-kind participatory governance initiative involving the common citizen at large. The idea of MyGov brings the government closer to the common people by the use of online platform creating an interface for healthy exchange of ideas and views involving the common citizen and experts with the ultimate goal to contribute to the social and economic transformation of India. MyGov has over 1.82 crore registered users. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyGov is also working as a crowdsourcing platform for medical equipment and essentials. The Government also launched India's first Artificial Intelligence-enabled MyGov Corona Helpdesk to provide latest information, curb rumours, and misinformation. 4. AAROGYA SETU - The world's most downloaded COVID-19 tracking app, Aarogya Setu works as guiding light for the Government to identify hotspots, aiding in curbing the spread of the infection. The app augments the initiatives of Government of India, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to and informing the users of the app regarding risks, best practices, and relevant advisories pertaining to COVID-19. If one makes a first or a second-degree contact with a COVID-19 positive person, Aarogya Setu alerts them and gets them timely medical help. The self assessment test also helps one in identifying possibilities of infection. 5. CoWIN - India developed CoWIN as the central IT system for strategizing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluation of COVID19 vaccination. CoWIN is the digital backbone for the vaccination drive in India. CoWIN helps citizens in finding vaccination centres as per the vaccine availability and online vaccination slot booking. The platform also issues a universally verifiable digital certificate post vaccination. As on June 30, 2021, over 30 crore registrations had been completed through CoWIN. Recently, many countries have shown interest in using this platform. 6. e-AUSHADHI - e-AUSHADHI (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative) portal supports the fight against COVID-19 with increased transparency and accountability for medical supplies across India. The portal has benefitted States in ensuring to save costs by 20% by a scientific forecasting system. The portal also aids in streamlining warehouse management, quality management, equipment inven tory management, equipment complaint chain management, equipment auction life cycle, human resource and finance management. 7. TELE-LAW - Tele-Law scheme is an effort to make legal aid accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens residing in rural areas. The scheme envisages the use of communications and IT for the delivery of legal information and advice. This is a medium of e-interaction between lawyers and citizens through video-conferencing or telephone/phone mode. 8,63,755 beneficiaries registered and 8,41,293 received advice (till May 2021). Beneficiaries include 2,59,347 women, 2,06,534 people from Scheduled Caste, 1,68,677 from Scheduled Tribe, and 2,52, 208 from Other Backward Classes. 8. DIGILOCKER - DigiLocker is a secure cloud based platform for issuance, sharing and verification of critical lifelong documents or certificates. It has created a new paradigm for true paperless governance. Currently, DigiLocker provides access (anytime, anywhere) to more than 347 crore digital documents (legally accepted as originals) issued from over 100 issuers comprising of Central and State agencies such as Transport Department, IT Department, State and Central Education Boards, etc. DigiLocker aids in faster delivery of all Government benefits, employment, financial inclusion, education, health and more. It also brings ease of doing business for various agencies, as it enables Government agencies to verify data directly from issuers after obtaining user consent. 9. FASTAG - FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly while the vehicle is in motion. FASTag (RFID Tag) is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables a customer to make the toll payments directly from the account which is linked to FASTag. It offers the convenience of cashless payment along with benefits like savings on fuel and time as the customer does not has to stop at the toll plaza. 10. UMANG - UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-Age Governance) is a common, unified platform and mobile app that facilitates a single point of access to all Government services. Its primary aim is to abridge inconvenience faced by users in managing multiple mobile apps. UMANG brings over 1,200 Central & State Government services as well as more than 20,000 bill payment services-all at one place. UMANG is integrated with Aadhaar, DigiLocker, Payment Gateway, SMS/E-mail Gateway, etc. to offer end-to-end digital/online delivery of services. Since its launch in 2016, UMANG app has come a long way, with 336.34 lakh registrations and over 169 crore transactions. 11. BHIM - Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an app that makes payment transactions simple, easy and quick using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It enables direct bank-to-bank payments instantly and collection of money using a mobile number, payment address, or QR code. Pioneered and developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), BHIM was launched in 2016 to bring in financial inclusion to the nation and a digitally empowered society. BHIM is a unique payment solution which can be used without internet as well. One may dial *99# from any phone and avail the same features of BHIM on their mobile screen. You can also register for BHIM using *99#. Currently BHIM is available 20 languages. 12. SWAYAM - SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-learning for Young Aspiring Minds) as a platform is unique in many ways and the salient features make it all the more desirable among the students as well as other target groups. Over 2,000 courses (school, vocational, undergraduate, postgraduate, Engineering, and other professional courses) delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners. The platform gives learners access to best-in-class instructors, proctored exams, weekly assignments, video lectures, specially-prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed, self assessment tests and quizzes, and offers an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. Over one lakh learners have successfully obtained certificates through SWAYAM. 13. e-NAM - National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The NAM Portal provides a single window service for all APMC-related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals and prices, buy and sell trade offers and provision to respond to trade offers. While material flow (agriculture produce) continues to happen through mandis, an online market reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry. 1.69 crore farmers, 1.5 lakh traders, 87,000 commission agents and 2,000 FPOs are onboard e NAM. Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Government of India. 14. DIKSHA - An initiative of NCERT and Ministry of Education, DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) is a national platform for school education. Launched in 2017, DIKSHA has since been adopted by 35 States/UTs as well as CBSE, NCERT, and SCERTs and by crores of learners and teachers. DIKSHA currently supports over 18 languages and also offers content for the hearing-impaired in sign language and the visually-impaired in Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY). In the context of COVID-19-related disruption of schooling, DIKSHA makes it possible for all States/UTs to enable learning/education at home through innovative State programmes. 15. GOVERNMENT E MARKETPLACE - Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is single window solution for online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments/Organisations/PSU s. GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It also provides the tools for direct purchase, e-bidding and reverse e-auction to facilitate the government users to achieve the best value for the money. The portal offers online registration facilities for all stakeholders namely Government users, product sellers and service providers. 16. NATIONAL COMMON MOBILITY CARD - NCMC is an offline contactless card which provides an easy, convenient and fast method of digital payment to the citizens for all routine low value transactions including public transport and retail. More than 2.66 crore NCMC debit cards have been issued till April 2021. 17. PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE - India could be the next smartphone capital of the world, estimated to have 820 million users in the next two years. In such a promising scenario, manufacturing of an entire mobile ecosystem will help the country on the global production map along with generating jobs in the near future. Approved with financial outlay of Rs. 12,195 crore, Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Telecom and Networking prodcuts came into effect from April 1, 2021. 18. DIGIBUNAI - DigiBunai is a first of its kind open source software for Jacquard and dobby weaving. It has the unique feature of Garment Viewer which works as a play area for designers/ weavers. The computed-aided textile designing and weaving software optimizes the pre-loom loading process of design creation, generation of graph, and punching the jacquard cards for the weaving with the ability to view the complete garment digitally with various colour combination and sizes before weaving. It is customizable (language and library of local designs) and also has the ability to integrate digital design tool of the user's choice. The portal is aimed at livelihood enhancement, increased self employment, and preserving handloom heritage of India. 19. KHOYA PAYA - The Khoya Paya portal is a citizen-based website to exchange information on missing and found children. It has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). The website is an enabling platform, where citizens can report missing children, as well as sightings of their whereabouts without wasting much time. The 'Found' children can also be reported on this web portal. The reporting can be done through text, photographs, videos and other means of transmitting and uploading information to the site. 20. PM-DISHA - The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PM DISHA) is a dynamic and integrated platform of digital literacy awareness, education and capacity programmes that will help rural communities fully participate in the global digital economy. It is the world's largest digital literacy programme to impart basic computer training to 6 crore citizens from rural areas across States/UTs. The programme also trains them to operate digital access devices (tablets, smartphones) and ndertake digital payments. (Compiled by Annesha Banerjee & Anuja Bhardwajan) Source: