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Digital nation: On delivery of citizen services

  • IASbaba
  • November 21, 2020
  • 0
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GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • E-governance and its challenges
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Digital nation: On delivery of citizen services

Context: Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 where PM Modi delivered the speech about the potential of Digitalisation and the how government schemes are leveraging Technology to deliver services efficiently.

Key Highlights of PM Modi’s Speech

  • Digital as a way of life in India: Digital platforms providing goods and services, including online education and telemedicine, have grown vigorously over past few years due to increase in smartphone and internet access with an estimated 750 million connections and a thriving financial technology sector.
  • India at cusp of Digital Revolution: A beginning has been made through government-to-citizen services using Common Service Centres, advice to agriculturists, digital payments of welfare benefits through bank accounts and, even legal advice online to four lakh people under the Tele-Law scheme
  • Digital India mission, launched five years ago, was not being seen as any regular government initiative and had now become a way of life, especially for the poor and marginalised and those in the government
  • India is uniquely positioned to leap ahead in the information era as the Country has the best minds as well as the biggest market. Also, India’s local tech solutions have the potential to go global (example UPI)
  • Ayushman Bharat which is the world’s largest healthcare scheme has been able to see progress and success due to vital role played by Technology 
  • Swamitva scheme is ambitious scheme to give land titles to millions of people in rural areas and would be achieved through technology like drones.
  • Need for innovative Cyber Security Solutions: With rapid increase of tech use, data protection as well as cybersecurity became very important. Indian youth needs to devise innovative solutions could effectively “vaccinate digital products against cyber attacks and viruses”.
  • Differences between the industrial age and the information age: PM Modi said that in the information era, the first mover did not matter; the best mover did, and “anyone can make a product any time that disrupts all existing equations of the market.”
  • Global Market:  In the industrial era, boundaries mattered but the information era was “all about going beyond boundaries.” 
  • Climate Change: Technology held the key to new science, reduction of carbon emission and tackling of global climate change.

Challenges ahead

  • Trust worthiness: The true measure of digital nations is the readiness of governments to use technology to create open, participatory public systems that citizens consider trustworthy. Governance must achieve a reliable system of digital welfare.
  • Need to apply to other sectors: If digital methods can be applied to other sectors, such as road safety, the results could be dramatic — potentially reducing the accident mortality rate of about 1,50,000 deaths a year.
  • Internal Changes required: At a broader level, efficient digital government depends on transforming internal processes, and fixing deadlines for service delivery.
  • Lacks Legislative framework: The UPA government could not see its electronic delivery of services legislation through, and it remains forgotten.

Conclusion

If digital has to become a way of life, redefining the labyrinthine functioning of citizen-centric services would be a good place to start, with deadlines for government departments.

Connecting the dots:

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