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In the digital world of today, having a robust digital infrastructure - internet connectivity and other modern technologies - is crucial for the economic progress of all countries. Several countries have shifted to a digital infrastructure several years earlier and have reaped the benefits of reduced costs and improved centralization of operations. India, though a bit lagging in the digital race, has launched a pan-India programme to help the country succeed in the digital race.

The Digital India Mission was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st July, 2015. This mission comes under the purview of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. This mission is in league with other popular government schemes like the Make in India, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Startup India, BharatNet and Standup India.

What is Digital India Mission?

  • Digital India is a project to empower India for the future of technology
  • The emphasis is on transition – the realization that IT + IT = IT
  • The goal is to make technology essential to achieving progress

It can be called an ‘Umbrella Program’ covering different departments.

  • It integrates a vast variety of concepts and perspectives into a cohesive, coherent dream, such that each of them is viewed as part of a greater objective.
  • Each aspect stands on its own. Yet, it's all part of the bigger picture. It is coordinated by DeitY and implemented by the Government as a whole. This weaving together makes the Mission transformative in its entirety.

The Mission brings together a variety of different frameworks. 

  • These schemes will be revamped and reoriented so that they can be applied in a coordinated way.
  • Most components are just operational enhancements at low costs.
  • The improved visibility of this Mission for a Digital India emphasizes their transformative impact.

Core Vision Areas of the Digital India Mission

The Digital India Mission works with these 3 core visions: 

  • Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen
  • Governance & Services on Demand
  • Digital Empowerment of Citizens

Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen

A well-connected country is a basic requirement for a well-served nation. When the remotest Indian villages are digitally linked through broadband and high-speed internet, the implementation of online government services to every person, targeted social benefits and financial inclusion will finally be accomplished. One of the key areas of focus of Digital India’s vision is "Digital Infrastructure as a service to every citizen."

This vision is planned to be achieved through the following provisions: 

  • High-speed Internet as a key service to every part of the country
  • Cradle to Grave Digital Identity for every citizen - Unique, Lifelong, Online, Authentic
  • Mobile phone & bank account enabling digital & financial space participation
  • Easy access to the Common Service Center
  • Shareable private space in a public cloud
  • Secure and safe cyberspace

Governance & Services on Demand

Digital services play an important role in government operations. E-governance in India has gradually shifted from computerization of government offices to programs that encompass the finer points of governance, such as customer awareness, service alignment and transparency. It helps in taking the various government schemes to every corner of the country.

This can be achieved by the following steps:

  • Seamless incorporation of e-Governance across various divisions or jurisdictions
  • Making all government services accessible on the web & mobile portal in real time
  • All citizens' entitlements to be made accessible on the web
  • Digitally optimized infrastructure to boost ‘Ease of Doing Business’
  • Allowing banking transfers online and making them cashless
  • Leveraging of GIS for Decision Support Systems & Production

Digital Empowerment of Citizens

Digital connectivity is an important enabler in this mission. Spread through generational and socio-economic divisions, Indians are rapidly engaging and interacting with each other via cell phones and computers on digital networks. This mission seeks to revolutionize India into a truly digital society by focusing on digital literacy, digital resources and interdisciplinary digital platforms. This often focuses on universal digital literacy skills and the provision of digital resources / services in Indian languages.

India needs to develop the below aspects to achieve this vision: 

  • Fundamental Digital Literacy to all citizens
  • Digital infrastructure that are universally accessible
  • All documents / certificates to be made accessible on the cloud
  • Accessibility of digital resources / services in Indian languages
  • Collaborative open networks and participatory government
  • Portability of all benefits through the cloud

Methodology for the Execution of the Digital India programme

  • Ministries / Departments / States will allow good use of the Government's Common and Support ICT Resources. DeitY would also develop / improve regulations and policy guidelines, provide technical and handheld support, undertake workforce development and R&D, etc.
  • Current / ongoing e-governance projects would be efficiently restructured in order to align them with the principles of Digital India. Scope enhancement, Process Reengineering, usage of automated and interoperable platforms and implementation of new technology such as cloud and internet will be pursued to facilitate the delivery of government services to people.
  • The Member States would be given flexibility to identify additional state-specific projects that are relevant to their socio-economic needs for inclusion.
  • e-Governance should be implemented by a unified program to the degree required to ensure a citizen-centred service approach, the interoperability of multiple e-Governance systems and the optimum utilization of ICT infrastructure / resources, thus following a decentralized delivery model.
  • Achievements should be established and their propagation encouraged proactively with the appropriate development and modification wherever possible.
  • Public Sector Collaborations will be encouraged to incorporate e-government programs with appropriate governance and strategic influence whenever necessary.
  • Integration of Unique ID should be promoted to enable the recognition, verification and distribution of benefits.
  • Overhaul of the NIC will be conducted to improve IT support for all government departments at central and state level.
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions would be established in at least 10 key ministries so that various e-government projects could be planned, successfully implemented swiftly. CIO vacancies will be kept at the rank of the Deputy Secretary / Joint Secretary with overriding IT control in the respective Ministry.

Nine Pillars of Digital India

  • Broadband Highways
  • Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
  • Public Internet Access Programme
  • e-Governance – Reforming Government through Technology
  • eKranti
  • Information for All
  • Electronics Manufacturing
  • IT for Jobs
  • Early Harvest Programmes

FAQs on Digital India

1. What is the Digital India Mission?

Digital India is a Government initiative that aims to provide high-speed internet to every corner of the country so that all government schemes can reach the eligible beneficiaries.

2. What are the positive results achieved from the Digital India Mission?

More than 12000 post offices have been linked electronically

  • Increase in the number of electronic transactions with regards to e-governance
  • An optical fibre network of 2,74,246 km linked over 1,15 lakh Gram Panchayats under the Bharat Net system.
  • The Common Service Center (CSC) is set up under the Indian Government's National e-Governance Initiative to provide access to information and communication technology (ICT).
  • Formation of digital villages along with well-equipped facilities such as solar lighting, LED assembly, sanitary napkin production unit and Wi-Fi choupal.
  • Internet data is seen as a big content distribution method and urban Internet penetration has hit 64 per cent.
  • Currently, the number of concurrent Internet users on a regular basis has exceeded 300 million out of 10-15 million individual users. It is also estimated that the number will double by 2020.

3. Who heads the Digital India Mission programme?

This programme is directly monitored by the Prime Minister as its Chairman. The Finance Minister, Minister of Communications and IT and many others are on the monitoring committee.

4. What are some of the challenges faced by this mission?

Large scale of the programme

  • Specific challenges pertaining to each of the 9 Pillars
  • Human resource challenges
  • Financial resource issues
  • Coordination complexities


The Digital India Project is an effort that involves proposals to link remote areas of the country with high-speed Internet networks. On the digital adoption platform, India ranks among the top two countries in the world, and India's digital economy is likely to cross $1 trillion by the year 2022.

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