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Cabinet clears a blueprint for Digital India

The government on Wednesday approved a blueprint for Digital India which envisages a super connected India, where all government services are delivered electronically and citizens have a unique identity which they carry from the “cradle to the grave.” 

The Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the plan which aims to “bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically, a Unique ID and e-Pramaan based on authentic and standard based interoperable and integrated government applications and data basis.”

Digital India will provide for “high speed internet as a core utility” down to the Gram Panchayat level and a “Cradle to grave digital identity – unique, lifelong, online and authenticable.” Adoption of Unique ID will be promoted to facilitate identification, authentication and delivery of benefits, the press statement added. 

The statement has steered clear of mentioning Aadhaar. However, if the government indeed plans to use the services of the Unique Identification Authority of India, which has already, over 660 million residents of the India, it will be providing a major life-line to the project, which has been battling severe uncertainity. 

The role of mobile phones as well as bank accounts is being envisioned to aid digital and financial participation. The government has also said that the project which will be implemented in a phased manner from the current year till 2018 will seamlessly integrate government services across departments to provide easy and a single window access to all persons along with ensuring that they are available in real time from online and mobile platforms. And to make it easier for corporations to do business in the country, government services will be digitally transformed for improving ease of doing business.

It will also making financial transactions above a threshold, electronic and cashless.

At least 10 key ministries will get Chief Information Officers (CIO) so that various e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster. The release said that the Scope of Digital India is to prepare India for a knowledge future and “to realize IT (Indian Talent) + IT (Information Technology)  = IT (India Tomorrow).”

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