New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved the Digital India project, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious e-governance initiative. The project, which has a total overlay of Rs 1 lakh crore, aims to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and help people gain benefits from the latest information and communication technology.
The project also aims to ensure that all villages in India have high speed Internet. Sources say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head the monitoring group of the project and will aim to complete the project by 2019.
“Today the Cabinet has approved the Digital India initiative of PM Narendra Modi. The PM had promised to bring everyone under the umbrella of ‘Digital india’. India’s talent plus information technology are India’s tomorrow,” said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“This scheme will include projects of all ministries. The budget of this programme will go up to Rs 1 lakh crore. Already budget provision exists for various programmes. If there is more requirement, then it will be given consideration by the government,” Prasad added.
A Digital India Advisory Group will be formed and will be chaired by the Minister of Communications and IT. There will be an Apex Committee which will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) or Committee on Non Plan Expenditure (CNE).
The Digital India programme is a transformed version of the already running National e-Governance Plan. The project aims to provide thrust to nine pillars identified as growth areas. These pillars include — broadband highways, everywhere mobile connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance, e-Kranti (which aims to give electronic delivery of services), information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for Jobs and early harvest programmes.
Under the Digital India programme, all central government ministries and departments will come up with their individual projects that can be delivered to public using ICT like health services, education, judicial services etc. Government will prefer to adopt Public Private Partnerships (PPP) wherever feasible for rolling out Digital India programme.
Apart for existing e-governance projects, government will restructure National Informatics Centre which facilitates roll out of IT projects in government departments. Government will create positions of Chief Information Officers (CIO) in at least 10 key ministries so that various e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster. Besides, the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) would create necessary senior positions within the department for managing the programme.