The transformative Digital India program, launched on July 1, 2015, to facilitate the digital delivery of essential services to citizens, is set for an expansion following the Union Cabinet's approval. Chaired by the Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Cabinet has given the green light to extend the Digital India initiative, allocating a total investment of Rs 14,903 crore.
Strengthening India's Digital Landscape
The expansion entails an array of enhancements designed to revolutionise India's digital landscape further and consolidate the gains already made. Some of the key highlights of this expansion include:
Empowering the Workforce: Under the FutureSkills Prime Programme, 6.25 lakh IT professionals will undergo reskilling and upskilling, ensuring their relevance in a rapidly evolving digital environment.
Enhancing Cybersecurity: As part of the Information Security & Education Awareness Phase (ISEA) Programme, 2.65 lakh individuals will receive specialized training in information security, fortifying the nation's cyber defences.
Digital Access Revolution: The Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) app/platform, already host to over 1,700 services, will now provide an additional 540 services, extending the reach of e-governance to more citizens.
Supercomputing Powerhouse: The National Super Computer Mission, bolstering computational capabilities, will witness the addition of 9 new supercomputers, reinforcing the existing fleet of 18.
Empowering Language Diversity: The AI-driven multi-language translation tool, Bhashini, presently accessible in 10 languages, will expand its reach to all 22 schedule 8 languages, bridging communication gaps.
Advancing Education: The modernization of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) will connect 1,787 educational institutions, fostering knowledge dissemination.
Empowering MSMEs: The Digital India expansion extends the digital document verification facility under DigiLocker to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other organizations, streamlining documentation processes.
Boosting Startups: The program is set to nurture 1,200 startups in Tier 2/3 cities, fostering innovation and entrepreneurial growth in diverse regions.
AI Centers of Excellence: The establishment of three Centers of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence focused on health, agriculture, and sustainable cities will drive cutting-edge research and development.
Digital Literacy and Security: Cyber-awareness courses will be offered to 12 crore college students, promoting digital literacy and cybersecurity consciousness.
Enhancing Cybersecurity Infrastructure: A suite of new cybersecurity initiatives, including the development of tools and the integration of over 200 sites with the National Cyber Coordination Centre, will bolster the nation's resilience against cyber threats.
Driving the Digital Economy
The announcement made on Wednesday (August 16th) is poised to galvanize India's digital economy, providing impetus to digital access, invigorating India's IT and electronics ecosystem, and reinforcing the nation's position as a global digital leader.
The government said the expansion not only builds upon past developments but also sets the stage for an even more digitally empowered and inclusive India.