India’s mega digital connectivity programme – Digital India that links the whole of the country with broad and Wifi connectivity is to be launched by the Prime Minister today. The programme is expected to be an aadhaar like revolution in its reach and social-economic impacts.
Digital India; extending many years and spending thousands of crores of rupees, is a socio-technological venture that aims to provide broadband connectivity in rural areas and to launch government services in the e-platform.
The programme focuses on three areas: digital infrastructure, e governance and digital empowerment of people.
First core area is the broadband connectivity. The private operators are making data transfer a luxury product, thereby denying the potential benefits of broadband connectivity in a continental sized economy like India.
Providing low cost broad band and accessibility to it for the low income people should be the back bone of the programme. Erstwhile telecom giant the public sector BSNL is expected to provide the connectivity for Digital India.
Few months back, the government has secured nearly 1.1 lakh crores rupees by auctioning spectrum. The spectrum auction is expected to revolutionize the delivery of data services. But companies are charging high prices on data traffic because of the auction amount they have to give to the government.
Vodafone chief even blamed the government that the high cost of spectrum may push up mobile data price and millions of Indians will not get opportunity access broad band.
Many other analysts also criticized that though the spectrum auction was a financial success, it will block a broadband revolution in India.
Now, with Digital India the government gets an opportunity to serve connectivity across the country. If the goals of the programme are achieved, it will be an economic revolution of unending value as many economic opportunities can be utilized by the people through the digital platform. Education and commerce will spread and deepen.
Another benefit of the programme will be on governance. Many efforts on governance using the digital platform like digital locker system, mygov.in, Swachh Bharat Mission, e-sign initiative – all will get a push with digital India.