A wild dream called ‘Digital India’

Associate Vice-President - BFSI, Delivery
Prakash Achar

March 07, 2017

As you all know the country has been on a digital/transformational journey ever since the new Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi assumed his office.

As you all know the country has been on a digital/transformational journey ever since the new Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi assumed his office. The time he started the journey, the country was less comprehensive of the ‘digital’ direction he was headed in. Different factions of the society came out with their own theories of justifying the initiative. While one section felt that it was more intended towards connecting the rural with the existing urban digital savvy crowd on IoT, another section felt that personally he being active on social media, perhaps intends building social media as the de facto channel for citizens to easily reach out to him to voice their views and opinions on the overall governance.

With the simultaneous launch of citizens’ portal, some factions also felt that maybe he intends running the government on a citizen charter by encouraging public participation via the digital channels towards establishing a true democracy.

While a few felt that it could be a mere setup towards creating one more mode of communication, the majority failed to understand PM’s larger vision of establishing, (a) first a ‘less cash’ and then (b) a ‘cashless’ economy by way of this digital enablement.

At the time of the announcement, for a country of our size where more than 2/3rd of the population is yet seen underprivileged /or underqualified in terms of digital literacy, the mission sounded practically impossible. Just to draw a parallel to assess the magnitude of complexity involved, I personally tried comparing it to the mechanical assembly, and realised that it never been tried out nor ever comprehended to put an unimaginative 1.25 billion parts into it and make it work in ‘perfect harmony’. Thus realised the dream ought to be big and wild!

Though the majority welcomed and remained in favour of the change, yet there remains a fear and apprehension losing every support in this line of mass movement. The reasons are aplenty and to cite a few,

  • for a country that has been heavily cash dependent so far, a 180-degree reversal from ‘cash’ to ‘no cash’ is just hell-breaking!
  • for a country of low literacy, the term ‘digital transaction’ is still a fancy and outlandish word, which in present context seems quite unattainable!!
  • for a country whose 70% of the territory is still mapped as ‘rural’, establishing of a viable infrastructure across territories and imparting of the required literacy among masses is seen as major stumbling blocks to the initiative!!!

With all these challenges on hand, now it only needs to be seen if the country can still succeed in its mission, which time alone can reveal!! If we succeed, then it would mark success of yet another nationwide movement, perhaps second only to our great movement of freedom of 1947!!!!!