The “Digital India” programme was launched in July’15 with an agenda to transform India into a digitized economy with a developed electronic infrastructure and smooth internet connectivity.

With the structured visions and series of associated plans for executing the “Digital India” programme, Government of India took the challenge to spread the digitization across the industries and the mass. To know more about the details of these initiatives click here .

In this part we will discuss about the progress rate of a few launched projects under the “Digital India” programme.

  • Broadband facility:

An amount of INR 11,000 Crore has been spent in this “Digital India” mission so far. According to a report of 2018, more than 1.1 lakh village panchayats had been provided by laying 2,58,635 kilometres of “optical fibre connectivity” under the BharatNet project (phase I). The numbers of gram panchayats having the test connections are more than 55,000, but these are assumed to be the free connections for a tenure of six months.

  • Post office with the facility of Internet: 
  • As a part of “Public Internet Access Programme”, more than 1,50,000 post offices including 1,29,380 Gramin Dak Sewak Post Offices has been designed as digital means of communication for the general public.
  • A project called DARPAN (Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India) was launched at the end of Dec’17 for enabling the department of posts to multiple services (like biometric identification and Micro ATM functionality to perform various financial and postal transactions ) on behalf of the Central and State governments through a network of 1.29 lakh Branch Post Offices in the rural areas. A total number of 51361 Branch Post Offices was covered under DARPAN Project till FY18.
  • Apart from this, launch of Instant Money Order (iMO) has also been done for instant, convenient and affordable domestic money transmission. As per the report of 2018, 16,977 post offices can avail iMO.
  • Digital Payment:

Digital lending is the online lending process to originate and renew loans for delivering faster and cost-efficient services to the communities and businesses.

  • The various means of digital payment have increased significantly over the last few years. In the FY18, the NEFT system managed the transaction of INR 172 Lakh Crore, which was 5.9 times greater than the previous five years.
  • The value of transaction carried out through credit and debit card was INR 141 Crore and INR 334 Crore respectively in that time period.
  • The value of digital lending was US$ 75 billion in FY18, estimated to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2022.
  • Between 2014 to 2019, the mobile banking transaction has expanded at a CAGR of 164%.

  • IT for Jobs 
  • The agenda of IT mission was to train people in smaller towns and villages, so after getting skilled they can be employed in in the IT industry.
  • The contribution of IT sector in GDP in FY18 was 7.9%.
  • The domestic revenue of the IT Sector has increased at a CAGR of 6.6% between FY15 to FY19.
  • The export revenue of the IT industry which was US$ 50 Billion in FY10 increased to US$ 137 Billion in FY19. Between FY15 to FY19, i.e. after the launch of Digital India Programme, the export revenue increased at a CAGR of 8.5%

  • E-Commerce:

With the rise in the expansion of internet in daily lives of common people, the preference of e-commerce or online shopping has also emerged enormously.

  • The size of the Indian e-commerce market is expected to be US$ 150 Billion by 2022.
  • Based on the expansion rate, it can also be estimated that the Indian e-commerce market is going to surpass US and will take the 2nd position globally by 2035.
  • Though, the share of offline shopping is far greater than the online one in India, still it can be expected that the numbers of online shoppers are going to reach 220 million by 2025.

India’s Digital Empowerment – Hits and Misses

  • India is the 7th largest and 2nd most populated country in the world. Based on its huge size and population the expansion of internet connectivity has grown significantly over the years. Still, a prolonged process is left to achieve full connectivity along with the strong establishment of digital environment across the country.
  • After the launch of Digital India programme, a series of projects have been launched with the target of connecting the people to the multiple government services. However, many such initiatives failed to meet the targets within the stipulated time period.
  • Lack of infrastructure is one of the major reason for this. The launched projects by “Digital India” programme were definitely impactful, but absence of technical advancements in the rural and remote parts of the country, lesser knowledge of the people for handling the online governmental services, lack of awareness among the mass about the features of “Digital India” Programme were serious issues for not achieving the targets in many of the cases.
  • However, the efforts from government has also been effective in the last few years. The growth rate of internet penetration, e-commerce, digital transaction, broadband facilities are the outcomes of such steps.
  • Not only this, according to a latest study, the data price of India is cheapest in the world. According to that report, the average price of 1 GB data is US$ 0.26 in India compares to US$ 6.66 in the UK and US$ 12.37. This initiative to make the internet accessible to the mass is definitely impressive.
  • The FDI in the Indian Telecom Sector has increased at a CAGR of 18.5% between FY14 to FY19 leading to a great encouragement towards the growth of telecommunication among the citizens.
  • According to the budget 2019 (Interim), government has a plan to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years. Along with many other plans, the rural industrialisation is planned to be established with the help of modern technologies to generate massive employment.

Though the completion of the programme is time consuming still with the continuous efforts, strategies and investments the targets are expected to be achieved in the coming years.

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