Mobile phones will act as the backbone of the Digital India programme. Through this project the government aims to offer a one-stop shop for government services. This Rs 1.13 lakh initiative by the government aims to transform India into such an economy which also attracts investment in electronics manufacturing sectors. These investments will lead to job creation and trading channels.
In an interview telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made PM Narendra Modi’s aim very clear that he wants a smartphone in every citizen’s hands by 2019. Prasad said, “”We want to ensure that all the services can be provided through a mobile handset, especially, health, education, various government services and retail. We want it (handset) to be used as a tool for empowerment. We will need to incentivise its usage in order to promote the social and the economic objectives of the government.”
The mobile phone will allow financial services so that every villager opt for mobile banking. The programme also seeks to provide every household in rural regions get access to bank account with a RuPay debit card and also insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. The plan to connect the entire country digitally will be supported by 20-and-40 hour modules on digital literacy in regional languages. As per Prasad, “During a presentation, the PM remarked IT+IT equals IT. This means India Today plus Information Technology (through Digital India) will yield India Tomorrow.”
The main objective of this project is to bring down electronic imports to zero by 2020. Prasad said more, “The PM is absolutely focused on making India the manufacturing hub and we see massive potential in electronic manufacturing.” The new government’s main agenda includes Digital India and local manufacturing among its top priorities. The programme has already received huge attention from national and international levels. Prasad said companies like Cisco Systems have showed interest in cluster manufacturing. “Facebook has also expressed interest in partnering with the government in delivering governance programmes such as e-education,” Prasad said. National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) will also be progressed speedily and private sector players are being roped in for the project.