Digital India – A Way to Foster Faster, Firmer and Fairer Governance | Original Article
The people of India recently elected a new government with a historic thumping majority. Keeping pace with the changing realities and demands of the modern and technologically advanced Indian society, the enthusiast government recently took a bold Digital India initiative. Digital India is an initiative of the central government to integrate all government departments to facilitate easy and instant availability of major government services to the masses of India. It aims at ensuring effective government services and good governance practices to the citizens electronically. The initiative includes plans to connect the country, especially the rural areas with high-speed internet networks. This paper intends to analyze the 9 pillars of digital India initiative (mentioned in the article later) and study their prospects as well as relevance in bringing the digital democracy that the new government promises. It shall also examine whether digital India initiatives shall lead to an inclusive growth of the country, tackle the problems of unemployment and illiteracy and keeping the country at par with the other global economies. So far, it is evident both through foreign as well as indigenous experiences of the past that digitalization of democracy has resulted in the reduction of red-tapism and there are significant fall in the magnitude of corruption. It has led to transparency in the workings of the government and has provided, though in limited sense, various procedural ease on the part of citizens. The facilities of online payments e.g. electricity, water, telephone bills and online collection of taxes, providing pension, MGNEREGA wages, various scholarships etc. have accelerated the efficiency of the government bodies and provided the citizenry timely and hustle free services. There is a long way to go for the government of India to be able to address challenges such as technical divide, integration of government services at various levels etc. The paper shall also discuss the different ways that need to be adopted to overcome various forms of hindrances in the path of digital India campaign so that it could meet the twin goals- of being all inclusive and reaching the goals of digital democracy in the true sense of the term.