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Digital India

ABOUT DIGITAL INDIA

The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
The journey of e-Governance initiatives in India took a broader dimension in mid 90s for wider sectoral applications with emphasis on citizen-centric services. Later on, many States/UTs started various e-Governance projects. Though these e-Governance projects were citizen-centric, they could make lesser than the desired impact. Government of India launched National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in 2006. 31 Mission Mode Projects covering various domains were initiated. Despite the successful implementation of many e-Governance projects across the country, e-Governance as a whole has not been able to make the desired impact and fulfil all its objectives.
It has been felt that a lot more thrust is required to ensure e-Governance in the country promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices and job opportunities. Moreover, electronic manufacturing in the country needs to be strengthened.
In order to transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of information technology, the Government of India has launched the Digital India programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.


Digital India Introduction

The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
E-governance initiatives in India took a broader dimension in the mid 1990s for wider sectoral applications with emphasis on citizen-centric services. The major ICT initiatives of the Government included, inter alia, some major projects such as railway computerization, land record computerization, etc. which focused mainly on the development of information systems. Later on, many states started ambitious individual e-governance projects aimed at providing electronic services to citizens.
Though these e-governance projects were citizen-centric, they could make less than the desired impact due to their limited features. The isolated and less interactive systems revealed major gaps that were thwarting the successful adoption of e-governance along the entire spectrum of governance. They clearly pointed towards the need for a more comprehensive planning and implementation for the infrastructure required to be put in place, interoperability issues to be addressed, etc. to establish a more connected government.
e-Kranti : National e-Governance Plan 2.0
The national level e-Governance programme called National e-Governance Plan was initiaited in 2006. There were 31 Mission Mode Projects under National e-Governance Plan covering a wide range of domains, viz. agriculture, land records, health, education, passports, police, courts, municipalities, commercial taxes, treasuries etc. 24 Mission Mode Projects have been implemented and started delivering either full or partial range of envisaged services. For more details click here
Considering the shortcomings in National e-Governance Plan that included lack of integration amongst Government applications and databases, low degree of government process reengineering, scope for leveraging emerging technologies like mobile, cloud…etc, Government of India has approved the e-Kranti programme recently with the vision of “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.
All new and on-going eGovernance projects as well as the existing projects, which are being revamped, should now follow the key principles of e-Kranti namely ‘Transformation and not Translation’, ‘Integrated Services and not Individual Services’, ‘Government Process Reengineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every MMP’, ‘ICT Infrastructure on Demand’, ‘Cloud by Default’, ‘Mobile First’, ‘Fast Tracking Approvals’, ‘Mandating Standards and Protocols’, ‘Language Localization’, ‘National GIS (Geo-Spatial Information System)’, ‘Security and Electronic Data Preservation’.
The portfolio of Mission Mode Projects has increased from 31 to 44 MMPs. Many new social sector projects namely Women and Child Development, Social Benefits, Financial Inclusion, Urban Governance, eBhasha…etc have been added as new MMPs under e-Kranti.
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Vision of Digital India

Vision of Digital India
The vision of Digital India programme is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

Vision Areas of Digital India
The Digital India programme is centred on three key vision areas:
Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
Availability of high speed internet as a core utility for delivery of services to citizens
Cradle to grave digital identity that is unique, lifelong, online and authenticable to every citizen
Mobile phone & bank account enabling citizen participation in digital & financial space
Easy access to a Common Service Centre
Shareable private space on a public cloud
Safe and secure cyber-space
Governance & Services on Demand
Seamlessly integrated services across departments or jurisdictions
Availability of services in real time from online & mobile platforms
All citizen entitlements to be portable and available on the cloud
Digitally transformed services for improving ease of doing business
Making financial transactions electronic & cashless
Leveraging Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) for decision support systems & development
Digital Empowerment of Citizens
Universal digital literacy
Universally accessible digital resources
Availability of digital resources / services in Indian languages
Collaborative digital platforms for participative governance
Citizens not required to physically submit Govt. documents / certificates
Vision Area 1: Digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen infrastructure
A well connected nation is a prerequisite to a well served nation. Once the remotest of the Indian villagers are digitally connected through broadband and high speed internet, then delivery of electronic government services to every citizen, targeted social benefits, and financial inclusion can be achieved in reality. One of the key areas on which the vision of Digital India is centred is “digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen”.A key component under this vision is high speed internet as a core utility to facilitate online delivery of various services. It is planned to set up enabling infrastructure for digital identity, financial inclusion and ensure easy availability of common services centres. It is also proposed to provide citizens with “digital lockers” which would be sharable private spaces on a public cloud, and where documents issued by Government departments and agencies could be stored for easy online access. It is also planned to ensure that the cyberspace is made safe and secure.
Vision Area 2: Governance and services on demand
Over the years, a large number of initiatives have been undertaken by various State Governments and Central Ministries to usher in an era of e-governance. Sustained efforts have been made at multiple levels to improve the delivery of public services and simplify the process of accessing them. E-governance in India has steadily evolved from computerization of Government Departments to initiatives that encapsulate the finer points of Governance, such as citizen centricity, service orientation and transparency.
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) was approved in 2006 to take a holistic view of e-governance initiatives across the country, integrating them into a collective vision. Around this idea, a massive countrywide infrastructure reaching down to the remotest of villages is being developed, and large-scale digitization of records is taking place to enable easy and reliable access over the internet. The ultimate objective was to make all government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets, and ensure efficiency, transparency, and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realise the basic needs of the common man".
Six elements are crucial for ensuring that governance and services are made available on demand to all citizens and other stakeholders in the country.
Vision Area 3: Digital empowerment of citizens
Digital connectivity is a great leveller. Cutting across demographic and socio-economic segments, Indians are increasingly connecting and communicating with each other through mobile phones and computers riding on digital networks. The Digital India programme itself promises to transform India into a digitally empowered society by focusing on digital literacy, digital resources, and collaborative digital platforms. This also places emphasis on universal digital literacy and availability of digital resources/services in Indian languages.
Approach and Methodology

Approach and Methodology for Digital India Programme are:
  1. Ministries / Departments / States would fully leverage the Common and Support ICT Infrastructure established by GoI. DeitY would also evolve/ lay down standards and policy guidelines, provide technical and handholding support, undertake capacity building, R&D, etc.
  2. The existing/ ongoing e-Governance initiatives would be suitably revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India. Scope enhancement, Process Reengineering, use of integrated & interoperable systems and deployment of emerging technologies like cloud & mobile would be undertaken to enhance the delivery of Government services to citizens.
  3. States would be given flexibility to identify for inclusion additional state-specific projects, which are relevant for their socio-economic needs.
  4. e-Governance would be promoted through a centralised initiative to the extent necessary, to ensure citizen centric service orientation, interoperability of various e-Governance applications and optimal utilisation of ICT infrastructure/ resources, while adopting a decentralised implementation model.
  5. Successes would be identified and their replication promoted proactively with the required productization and customisation wherever needed.
  6. Public Private Partnerships would be preferred wherever feasible to implement e-Governance projects with adequate management and strategic control.
  7. Adoption of Unique ID would be promoted to facilitate identification, authentication and delivery of benefits.
  8. Restructuring of NIC would be undertaken to strengthen the IT support to all government departments at Centre and State levels.
  9. The positions of Chief Information Officers (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key Ministries so that various e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster. CIO positions will be at Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary level with over-riding powers on IT in the respective Ministry.
Management Structure

Programme Management Structure for Digital India Programme
The Programme management structure for the Digital India prorgamme as endorsed by the Union Cabinet is as follow:
For effective management of the Digital India programme, the programme management structure would consists of a Monitoring Committee on Digital India headed by the Prime Minister, a Digital India Advisory Group chaired by the Minister of Communications and IT and an Apex Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. The structure has the needed secretarial/ monitoring/ technical support and appropriate decentralization of power and responsibility to ensure effective execution of the various projects/ components by the implementing departments/ teams.
Key components of the Programme Management structure would be as follows:
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for programme level policy decisions.
A Monitoring Committee on Digital India under the Chairpersonship of Prime Minister which will be constituted with representation drawn from relevant Ministries/ Departments to provide leadership, prescribe deliverables and milestones, and monitor periodically the implementation of the Digital India Programme.
A Digital India Advisory Group headed by the Minister of Communications and IT to solicit views of external stakeholders and to provide inputs to the Monitoring Committee on Digital India, advise the Government on policy issues and strategic interventions necessary for accelerating the implementation of the Digital India Programme across Central and State Government Ministries/Departments. The composition of the Advisory Group would include representation from the Planning Commission and 8 to 9 representatives from States/UTs and other Line Ministries/Departments on a rotational basis.
An Apex Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary would be overseeing the programme and providing policy and strategic directions for its implementation and resolving inter-ministerial issues. In addition it would harmonize and integrate diverse initiatives and aspects related to integration of services, end to end process re-engineering and service levels of MMPs and other initiatives under the Digital India Programme, wherever required.
Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC)/Committee on Non Plan Expenditure (CNE) to financially appraise/ approve projects as per existing delegation of financial powers. The EFC/ CNE headed by Secretary Expenditure would also be recommending to the CCEA the manner in which MMPs/ eGovernance initiatives are to be implemented, as well as the financial terms of participation for States. A representative of the Planning Commission would also be included in both the EFC and CNE.
A Council of Mission Leaders on Digital India headed by Secretary, DeitY would be established as a platform to share the best practices in various existing and new eGov initiatives under Digital India and also to sensitize various government departments about ICT projects of DeitY. While the inter-departmental, integration and interoperable issues of integrated projects / eGovernance initiatives would be resolved by the Apex Committee on Digital India headed by Cabinet Secretary, the technical issues of integrated projects would be resolved by the Council of Mission Leaders.
Further, considering the scope of the Digital India Programme and the need to look at issues such as overall technology architecture, framework, standards, security policy, funding strategy, service delivery mechanism, sharing of common infrastructure etc. at a programme level, it is proposed that the technical appraisal of all Digital India projects be done by DeitY, prior to a project being placed before the EFC/ CNE. This appraisal would cover issues relating to inclusion of adoption of Standards, utilization of Cloud and mobile platforms, consideration of security aspects, etc. The Secretary, DeitY or his representative may also be included as a standing special invitee to all EFC/CNE meetings, which are appraising/approving MMPs. It may be mentioned that the DeitY has already set up a Programme Management Unit, namely National eGovernance Division (NeGD) to provide support to departments in conceptualizing, developing, appraising, implementing and monitoring respective MMPs / eGovernance Initiatives.
Institutional mechanism of Digital India at State level would be headed by State Committee on Digital India by the Chief Minister. State/UT Apex Committees on Digital India headed by Chief Secretaries would be constituted at State/UT level to allocate required resources, set priority amongst projects and resolve inter-departmental issues at State level.
For effective monitoring of Digital India, usage of Project Management Information System would be mandatory in each new and existing Mission Mode Projects to capture the real or near real time details about the progress of the project. This tool should be proficient enough to capture the parameters for each stage of project namely, conceptualization and development, implementation and post implementation. The parameters could be decided in consultation with various line Ministries / Departments and DeitY.
Since the “e-Kranti: National eGovernance Plan 2.0” is already integrated with Digital India Programme, the existing programme management structure established for National eGovernance Plan at both national and state level has also been decided to be integrated appropriately with the programme management structure being envisaged for Digital India Programme at national and State/UT level.
 
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