The Indian Minister of the Electronic and Information Technology Ministry, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Digital India programme has transformed into a “mass movement”, and the government will soon finalise a new electronic policy to build on the momentum and continue to encourage digital growth and development in rural India.
Mr Ravi Prasad has said that the government will be finalising a new electronics policywhich will rely, in part, on export-based initiatives in the electronic field. Essentially, the aim of the initiative is to develop India into a source of reliable and efficient electronic products and services to participate in national and international markets.
Through opportunities in areas like Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, e-commerce, electronics manufacturing, digital payments and data security, India aims to increase the size of its digital economy to US $1 trillion in the next few years.
Mr Ravi Prasad said that with the combination of Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s People’s Wealth Scheme (Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana) making use of around 310,000,000 public fund accounts (JanDhan account), the production and distribution of about 1,210,000,000 mobiles, and India’s biometric identifier (Aadhaar) all pushing welfare benefits and subsidies, the Ministry has been able to raise a substantial amount of funds, around IN ₹90,000 crores (approximately US $13,328,397) for further development. The trio has been named the JanDan-Aadhaar-Mobile or JAM trinity.
When discussing the progress made by the Ministry of IT through electronic related initiatives like “DigiGaon”, “Digital India”, and “Make in India” etc., Mr Ravi Prasad said that Common Service Centres have risen to 2,91,000 up from 83,000, while 89 BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) have started operating in various states in only two and a half years. This has increased the number of people in rural areas that have access to digital services, such as banking, e-learning, and healthcare, as well as the number of services provided to them.
The production of mobile handsets in India has also grown exponentially, Mr Prasad stated that almost 120 units manufacturing mobile handsets and components have been established across the country in the last three years; he added that the Ministry of IT will capitalise on this progress and intends to concretise the potential of India’s economy to a US $1 trillion economy.
While outlining the digital projects being launched by the government, including the National Scholarship Portal, Digital Locker, the National Agriculture Market, and eHospitals among others, Mr Ravi Prasad said that now, everyone has come to have a stake in the emerging digital ecosystem in India and through these projects gaining access to electronic services will become easier and more affordable.
He added that the government sees Digital India as being supported by low-cost technology that is both developmental and inclusive.