The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has granted its approval for the expansion of the Digital India Programme. This strategic move involves an outlay of Rs 14,903 crore. The programme was launched on 01 July 2015 to enable digital delivery of services to citizens.
The key objectives of this programme are:
- Enhancing IT Skills: The FutureSkills Prime Programme will play a pivotal role in re-skilling and up-skilling around 6.25 lakh IT professionals. This initiative aims to equip them with cutting-edge skills for the digital age.
- Information Security Training: Around 2.65 lakh individuals will receive training in information security through the Information Security & Education Awareness Phase (ISEA) Programme. This will bolster the nation’s capabilities in safeguarding digital information.
- UMANG Platform Expansion: The Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) app/platform will witness a significant expansion, incorporating an additional 540 services. With over 1,700 services already accessible on UMANG, this move will further simplify citizen-government interactions.
- Supercomputing Strength: The National Super Computer Mission will gain an additional nine supercomputers, supplementing the existing deployment of 18 supercomputers. This will enhance computational capabilities for various applications.
- Multilingual AI Translation: The AI-powered translation tool called Bhashini, currently functional in 10 languages, will be extended to all 22 languages listed in Schedule 8. This advancement will enable seamless communication across linguistic boundaries.
- Modernizing Education Connectivity: The National Knowledge Network (NKN), which interconnects 1,787 educational institutions, will undergo modernization to ensure a robust and advanced digital learning environment.
- Digital Verification for Enterprises: The DigiLocker platform’s digital document verification service will now be accessible to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other organizations, streamlining their document management processes.
- Nurturing Startups: The expansion will foster the growth of 1,200 startups located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, promoting entrepreneurship beyond urban centers.
- Artificial Intelligence Centers of Excellence: Three Centers of Excellence dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be established, focusing on health, agriculture, and sustainable cities. These centers will drive innovation in these critical sectors.
- Cyber Awareness for Students: Cyber-awareness courses will be offered to approximately 12 crores college students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital landscape safely.
- Strengthening Cybersecurity: Several new cybersecurity initiatives will be introduced, including the development of tools and integration of more than 200 sites with the National Cyber Coordination Centre. These efforts will bolster the nation’s cybersecurity posture.
The significance of this announcement lies in its potential to invigorate India’s digital economy, improve digital accessibility to essential services, and provide robust support to the country’s IT and electronics ecosystem.