Digital India is the flagship program of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This program is centered on the vision of offering digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen, providing governance and services on-demand, enabling the digital empowerment of citizens. Besides policymaking facilitation to the IT industry and start-ups, the government has also adopted state-of-the-art ICT for its own transformation for efficient and effective delivery of information and services to citizens at large. A specific focus has been on reaching the last mile as digital inclusion is at the core of the Digital India program. The National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is an important stakeholder in the digital transformation of the Indian government.
NIC is the driving force of the Digital India program and has also helped the government be at the forefront in the use of information technology. It has been working with the government for over four decades, providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, building solutions, as well as advising individual departments on action plans and the adoption of appropriate technologies.
It is interesting to see that leapfrogging into the Fourth Industrial Revolution is proactively enabled by the Indian government. Digital India is the government’s flagship program and is underway transforming the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The government’s digital model is narrowing the digital divide and bringing technology to even the most remote parts of the country.
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Let’s take a look at another key enabler for digital transformation – the consumer. India’s digital consumer base is the second largest in the world (second only to China) and is rapidly growing. In 2018, there were 560 million internet subscribers.
The amount of data being consumed, another important enabler, is staggering for a low middle-income country like India. Indian mobile data users consume 8.3 GB of data each month, compared with 5.5 GB for mobile users in China. The cost of mobile data has radically reduced, with Indians now paying around 20 cents per GB per month for dataBased on current trends, we are likely to see an increase in the number of internet users by about 40 percent to between 750 million and 800 million and a doubling of smartphones to between 650 million and 700 million by 2023.
There is also a very high receptiveness of digital solutions across the population. For example, a recent global survey ranked India second in terms of fintech adoption, with an adoption rate of 52%. Digitalization of the Indian economy will produce an explosion of data. Because many business transactions involve buying and selling data, India’s vast consumer base provides companies with unique opportunities to create, capture, and deliver value from that data. The development of a regulatory framework that can secure strong privacy and security safeguards is therefore utterly important.
The Covid-19 induced lockdown in India has accelerated digital transformation and ensured business continuity. India is now the second-fastest digitizing economy and is increasingly recognized as a global force. Enabled by massive investment in new technology and a huge internet market is driven by 560 million connected consumers, the country has emerged as an upcoming leader in digital solutions. As emphasized by researchers at Harvard University “India is leapfrogging into the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
Leading India to future
Hitachi is played a vital role in aiding better decision-making for government and private enterprises. Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, etc are some of the key solutions that were the backbone of nation-building.
NIC is the IT arm and an integral part of the Indian government. This single organization consults and interacts with government institutions at all tiers, from the central to panchayat (village) level. In addition, NIC has also set up a nationwide infrastructure that is leveraged by all these institutions in their internal functioning as well as the delivery of services. This structure is unique in the world and has accelerated the adoption of new technologies by the government at all levels. The ready availability of infrastructures like a government network, datacenters, the cloud, and mail has fast-tracked the implementation of various initiatives under the Digital India program.