Digital India – A digital dream


Will it be possible to replace the good old papers with digital screens? While government of India’s new project, Digital India, may be exciting to many, it does sound too ambitious when we look into the implications it carries.

Since the birth of digital data, people have imagined paperless life but until now it has remained a dream due to various reasons.

On one hand it is admirable if the country can cut down on papers, make research work easier, and save trees, on the other hand the very nature of digital data in terms of confidentiality and safe preservation have always made things more complicated.

What may be considered the most stable technology today becomes outdated tomorrow. This will not stop and will compel people to keep saving and updating the data on latest storage medias, purchase equipments that are compatible with those medias, and continue doing it for indefinite period.  This will encourage more industries, more factories, more cities and so more destruction of villages and trees.

So far unemployment, this issue cannot be solved by industries either. If industries were the solution to unemployment, USA and Europe wouldn’t be suffering today due to unemployment. They have the maximum number of industries.

As India emerges on the global map as an influential and potentially developed country, it will have to be careful in what trend it follows from the West.  When A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada compared India and the West with the lame and the blind, his message was clear: he advised India to guide the West with its cultural wisdom and advised the West to support Indian culture using its worldly strength. Together they could save the world.

Digital India[1][2] is an initiative of Government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India. It aims at ensuring the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork. The initiative also includes plan to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India has three core components. These include:[3]

  • The creation of digital infrastructure
  • Delivering services digitally
  • Digital literacy.

The initiative is commendable and deserves full support of all stakeholders. However, the initiative also lacks many crucial components including lack of legal framework, absence of privacy [4] and data protection laws,[5] civil liberties abuse possibilities,[6] lack of parliamentary oversight for e-surveillance in India,[7] lack of intelligence related reforms in India,[8] insecure Indian cyberspace,[9] etc. These issues have to be managed first before introducing DI initiative in India. Digital India project is worth exploring and implementation despite its shortcomings that can be rectified before its implementation.[10]

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