Digital India – Challenges, Advantages, Digitalization, Digital India UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Digital India is a campaign initiated by the central government to empower citizens digitally, and it was launched on the 1st of July 2015. Mr. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, incorporated it. Digital India ensures that government services are provided to the citizens via numerous digital channels. As a responsible citizen, one should leverage the power of Digital India initiatives for added convenience.

Digital India seeks to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This article explores the various aspects of Digital India, delving into its advantages, challenges, key initiatives, and its potential to revolutionize sectors such as healthcare, education, and financial services.

What is Digital India?

The Digital India campaign includes initiatives to bring high-speed internet facilities to the country’s rural areas. Digital India is also the enabler of other government schemes launched. The Digital India campaign aims to bridge the digital divide, empower citizens, and ensure the seamless delivery of government services through the use of digital technologies

Digital India UPSC Notes

For example, the Aadhaar card service was enabled by the Digital India campaign. With Aadhar cards, digital biometric ID cards for citizens were created. Due to the Digital India scheme, People can always avoid losing their papers, which are valuable to them.

Objectives of Digital India

The Digital India project motto was – Power to Empower. The 3 key areas of the Digital India scheme were digital literacy, digital infrastructure creation, and digital delivery of services. The primary objectives of the Digital India project are given below.

  • The mission combines several opinions into one broad concept so that every part becomes a portion of the larger objective.
  • Digital India scheme provides smooth access to CSC or Common Service Centre in all country’s localities.
  • It concentrates on giving a new structure to current schemes that can be accomplished in a synchronized way.
  • The Digital India project offered high-speed internet access to all Gram Panchayats.

Advantages of Digital India

The topmost initiative of Digital India is to connect the villages or towns of India with high-speed internet networks. India ranks at the 2nd position internationally on the forum of digital adoption, and the digital economy is expected to cross $1 trillion by 2022. Some of the benefits of Digital India are:

  • Internet data is utilized as an effective tool for service delivery, and the penetration of the Internet in urban regions has increased to 64%.
  • Building digital villages by establishing well-equipped amenities such as LED assembly units, Wi-Fi Choupal, solar lighting, and sanitary napkin production units.
  • The Bharat Net programme has linked around 1.15 lakh Gram Panchayats using an optical fiber network of 2, 74,246 km.
  • Electronic transactions have shown an increase, which is associated with E-Governance with the help of the Digital India project.
  • The National e-Governance Project of the Indian Government has formed a Common Service Center (CSC) that offers access to ICT or information and communication technology.
  • CSCs deliver multimedia range correlated to digital education, entertainment, health, e-governance, and private and Government services, with the help of computers and the Internet.

Challenges of Digital India

Digital India initiated by the Government, was to make the rural regions more advanced digitally. The scheme faced various challenges besides undertaking critical initiatives. A few of the challenges of Digital India are given below.

  • The restricted ability of introductory smartphones for easy access to the internet.
  • Users needed to be more educated about digitalization.
  • A shortage of trained workforce in the digital technology domain is a big challenge in Digital India.
  • The per day speed of the internet, including Wi-Fi hotspots, was slow compared to other developed countries.
  • Analyzing and monitoring the rising threats of digital crime with 1 million cybersecurity specialists is one of the major challenges in Digital India.
  • More struggle for MSME to adapt to modern digital technology.

Nine Pillars of Digital India

The Digital India scheme contained the following 9 pillars that must be apprehended. All these provided immense support for establishing the overall Digital India project.

  1. Broadband Highways: Applying the national optic fiber network (NOFN) in India’s 2.5 lakh gram panchayats would use a phased technique.
  2. Public Internet access: The motto of Digital India was to increase the range of CSC or common services centres to 1.5 lakhs from 1.35 lakhs, which implied that the Internet is available in every Panchayat.
  3. Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity: Providing mobile access to around 44,000 uncovered villages in India, the country’s Government took measures to ensure all towns have mobile connectivity after 2018.
  4. E-Governance: Enterprise methodology re-engineering was expected to be launched to enhance procedures and service delivery. Services were planned to be merged with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), mobile outlet, and payment gateway.
  5. E-Kranti: E-Kranti is one of the pillars of Digital India that concentrates on the electronic delivery of various services, including health, education, justice, economic inclusion, and agribusiness.
  6. Electronics Manufacturing: This pillar of Digital India concentrates on VSAT, top boxes, mobile, medical or consumer electronics, micro ATMs, smart cards, and energy meters.
  7. IT Training for Jobs: The Indian Government planned to train approximately one crore students in the IT-related sector, especially those from small villages and towns.
  8. Global Information: This Digital India pillar focused on hosting data online and visionary engagement via social media and additional web-based platforms such as MyGov.
  9. Early Harvest Programmes: The Government of India is designed to deploy the Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System in every central Government office in Delhi. This web-based application software system would record the attendance online and could be viewed by respective stakeholders.

Digital India Initiative

Digital India initiatives were spread across infrastructure, services, and empowerment. Some common Digital India initiatives for citizens were:

Digital India Scheme
Infrastructure Services Empowerment
Aadhaar identity platform for citizens BHIM for boosting cashless transactions. BPO Scheme for boosting IT/ITES growth.
BBNL (Bharat Broadband Network) for laying optical fibre lines CCTNS for tracking criminal identity and enhancing policing. MYGOV for better governance and bringing citizens closer to the government.
COE-IT for developing IoT ecosystems across the country Digital AIIMS for offering a digital identity to every patient of AIIMS. PAHAL (DBTL) for removing duplicate LPG connections in the country.

Three Visions of Digital India Project

Digital India step towards the future incorporated three vision areas for the Digital India campaign, which are as follows:

First Vision of Digital India Scheme

The first vision area of the Digital India campaign is offering digital infrastructure as a utility to every resident of India. The missions under this vision area are listed below:

  • Offering high-speed internet to every citizen to deliver government services.
  • Offering a unique and lifelong digital identity to each resident of India.
  • This Digital India vision ensures every citizen has a mobile phone and a bank account to participate in the digital space.
  • Offering shared private space to citizens on a public cloud platform.

Second Vision of Digital India Project

The second vision of Digital India focuses on providing governance/services when the citizens need them. This vision includes the following missions:

  • Integrating services under jurisdiction into one for better results.
  • Offering real-time services to citizens via an online platform.
  • Citizen rights/entitlements should be available on the cloud platform.

Third Vision of Digital India Campaign

The third vision of the Digital India area focuses on the digital empowerment of the citizens. It includes the following missions:

  • Promoting digital literacy and making digital resources available to the residents.
  • Offering digital resources/services to citizens in Indian languages for added convenience.
  • Allowing citizens to submit documents digitally for various government services.

Importance of Digital India

The Digital India project, after its launch in 2015, was able to influence diverse domains.

  • Digital India plan could raise GDP to $1 trillion by 2025.
  • There has been growth in the education and healthcare sectors, such as National Digital Health Mission, and digital education in India.
  • Advancements in online infrastructure would improve the overall country’s economy.
  • The Make in India initiative has enhanced the electronic manufacturing sector in India.
  • Approximately 12000 branches of post offices in rural locations have been electronically connected through the Digital India project.

Digital India UPSC

Digital India, a flagship initiative of the Government of India, aims to harness the potential of digital technologies for transforming India into a digitally empowered society. This topic holds significant relevance for UPSC aspirants as it comes under the governance section. There have been many governance questions in UPSC mains that have been asked on this topic. Understanding the importance of Digital India enables aspirants to grasp the intricate interplay between technology, governance, and socio-economic development, and helps them during UPSC exam preparation.

Digital India UPSC Questions

Question: Which of the following is the flagship initiative of the Government of India aimed at digitally empowering the nation? a) Make in India b) Skill India c) Digital India d) Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Answer: c) Digital India

Question: What is the primary objective of the Digital India initiative? a) Bridging the gender gap in education b) Expanding digital connectivity and internet access c) Promoting renewable energy sources d) Enhancing agricultural productivity

Answer: b) Expanding digital connectivity and internet access

Question: Which sector(s) is/are targeted for transformation through the Digital India initiative? a) Education b) Healthcare c) Banking and financial services d) All of the above

Answer: d) All of the above

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