In July this year, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, launched Digital India — an initiative aimed at providing internet access to India’s billion-plus population. The initiative has received tremendous support not only in India, but also in the US, with honchos from the Silicon Valley pledging their support. From Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg, Digital India has found many takers, providing the much-needed fillip to one of modern India’s most ambitious plans.

Envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information and Information Technology (DeitY), the Digital India initiative is centred on three key areas,

  • Creation of digital infrastructure
  • Digital empowerment of citizens
  • Governance and services on demand

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world; however, only a small percentage of the population has access to the internet. Broadband penetration is among the lowest in the world — according to State of Broadband 2015 Report by the United Nations, India lags behind Ghana, Syria, and Zimbabwe in mobile broadband penetration.

The Indian government is well-aware of the challenges involved in making Digital India campaign a success. The scale of infrastructure required for providing internet access to millions of Indians would require active participation from both national and global private players.

The likes of Reliance, TCS, and Wipro — some of the biggest names in India’s private sector — have already extended their support to the Digital India campaign. And, in a bid to garner support globally, Mr. Modi is in Silicon Valley, the epicentre of tech industry. The overwhelming response he has received there is expected to catalyse the Digital India campaign.

Success of Digital India Campaign will Empower Citizens

Digital India truly has the potential to lessen the digital divide, that’s currently prevalent in India. In spite of being at the forefront of information technology, less than 20% Indians have access to the internet. It is this dichotomy that Digital India seeks to address.

Digital India will bolster the e-governance initiative of the government. Long queues and piles of paper will be replaced by cloud storage and online forms. The education sector is also expected to receive a boost, as students will have a wide range of resources to seek information. Businesses, especially those in the e-commerce domain, will be able to find new audience as more consumers discover the ease of buying stuff online.

Overall, the Digital India campaign has a lot riding on it, and if the government is able to execute it as it has been envisaged, the face of modern India can get a makeover. The campaign has received the support it needs, now, it’s time to act and work towards making India a fully digitised country.