The government of India is deeply committed to its Digital India Initiative that seeks to connect 2.5 lakh Panchayats by broadband network. Indian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad was invited as the Chief Guest at the 9th edition of India Digital Summit 2015 and reiterated the idea behind the Digital India vision.
The minister had recently visited Kerala which is the first state with the (NOFN) National Optical Fiber Cable Network and expressed his delight over the same. He went on to describe the main thought process behind the Digital India initiative. Following the footsteps of the Prime Minster Modi, he confessed that he is intrigued by social media and said, “I play with this bird called social media but I am not a proficient as the Prime Minister. But after becoming the minister, I went deeper into it and realised that going to be a game changer for the digital story of India.”
He spoke about the three Ds and three Ss that will guide the growth of Digital in India. The three Ds are namely, Democracy, Demographic and Demand; as commonly proposed what makes India different from the other digital rival countries in the world is its democracy which promotes the growth of new ideas that leads the growth of digital in any market.
The three Ss of Digital India are Speed, Scale and Skill. “If you want to deliver you make it one of your skill, deliver it on a bigger scale and with speed,” said Mr Prasad. “The three major components of Digital India are – creation of Digital Architecture, Digital Literacy and Digital empowerment,” he added.
The minister said that India is the second highest smartphone users after US. “We have made 900 mn mobile phones in India but rural penetration is still a concern, we need to do a lot on the rural front,” he said. “With Digital India, a lot of innovations are expected to come in India and it will be an enabler,” he added.
In his address, he did not neglect the ecommerce wave in India and said , “I know that the rural market is waiting to explore enormously, that market has not been tapped. It has immense scope for expansion and growth in India.”
“Global property of global connectivity is important and this is possible only if we connect local to global, “ said Mr Prasad. While he was emphasising on the importance of internet connectivity in India and making its services available to the last mile, he did not ignore the vernacular masses for whom the English-only content available on the Internet is an obstacle.
Going forward, he stressed on four major problems in the way of Digital India. Lack of local content keeps a large number of people off the internet, “Once local content is available on the internet it will lead to empowerment, “ he added.
Also, all the documents need to available digitally, people need to share their digital experience which can serve as model for Digital India and we need to improve to IT profile of India which is extremely skewed, Mr Prasad said at the address.