“Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come”- Venkaiah Naidu, Urban Development Minister.
I was one of the netizens who stormed the social networking sites and celebrated my city’s entry as a smart one among 20 others selected by the Central Government. The much awaited list was released on the last week of January. Out of the 97 shortlisted, 20 were selected and Chennaites were happy that their city made its way into it. What’s so special about the number 20? I view this with a different perspective. Probably they were the first 20 (cities) on their way to accomplish mission 2020! Interestingly, people from various cities were eagerly waiting for the list and once released, the people from the selected cities celebrated on popular social networking sites. It was a surprise to see that many people were aware of this and I was happy to see such a massive response to a list released by the Government. All these responses were because of one thing. Yes, Digital India is the talk of the town and emphasizing its importance is required at this time. No other Central Government programme has received so much recognition and appreciation among people. A flagship programme of the Indian government, it’s main vision is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This programme marks the beginning of a new era in India’s history. With the world shrinking in size, things are just a click away from us; Digital India is the need of the hour. It’s a huge step forward by the Indian Government. The journey is not going to be easy as there are lots of challenges awaiting ahead. Just like a digital signal, the scheme too has its own highs and lows. One of the most striking features of the scheme is that it offers solutions to all the problems it's going to face in its implementation. The government must be highly appreciated for the efforts it has taken to carefully plan the scheme and also its implementation, since we have lost many good schemes in the past due to faulty implementation. Also, in a country like India where many people are not digitally literate, it is a technological challenge to ensure process efficiency, without which, people from all sections of society can’t enjoy the benefits of the new service. Surprisingly, making people digitally literate is also one of the objectives of the plan and similarly it offers wide range of solutions. The anytime-anywhere e-services such as e-commerce, e-kranti, e-governance helps in increasing the process speed, saves time and increase transparency. It is a scheme that unites us in a digital platform - a platform that is free from caste, religion, socio-economic status and all kinds of separations. It promotes integration and inclusive growth. We, as engineers, too have a huge role to play in this scheme as the scheme is implemented by “DeitY” (Department of Electronics and Information Technology). It’s also the time for the ignited minds of the nation, to contribute in the building of a new nation through this scheme and bridge the digital divide among people.
In a country where our ancestors played with snakes, we now play with mouse; where people are no more called citizens but netizens ; where connection and communication are important; where Wi-Fi trees are planted along side green trees; where networks reduce people’s net work – thereby making their work easier; where languages are learnt for communication not only with humans but also with computers in the form of computer languages; where both people and their phones are smart (now the cities too!) – One can easily understand the importance of Digital India at this hour.
The nation is about to witness the technological revolution through Digital India. It will be the only revolution that would collectively enhance all color (green, white, etc.) revolutions, making the tricolor flag of India fly high and empower us to become a Superpower. It’s time to step into the digital era and join the digital wave. Digital India is not only the flagship programme of the Indian government but it is also a dream project of a billion Indians who are waiting for, “India A.D.-After Digitalization”.