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Compendium on Digital India: Digital Infrastructure

As reported earlier, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the release of a “Digital India Compendium”, titled Digital Bharat, Saksham Bharat.

The document outlines the progress of the Digital India initiative. It is divided into two sections, the digital profile of India and the digital profiles of states and union territories in India.

It also discusses the country’s digital infrastructure. It said that under Digital India, a key vision area is to provide digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, starting from delivering digital identities to 1.3 billion citizens, linking about 250,000 village council through optical fibres.

Digital Identity

Aadhaar is the world’s largest digital identity programme that provides biometric and demographic based unique digital identity. It creates an identity infrastructure for the delivery of various social welfare programmes. A total of 1.23 billion Aadhaar cards have been generated.

Through their Aadhaar cards, citizens have access to a variety of government services such as LPG subsidies, mobile applications (digital payment methods), scholarships, DigiLockers, and bank accounts under the Jan Dhan programme.

Direct Benefit Transfer

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) aims to improve the government’s delivery system. JAM, that is Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and mobile phones are DBT enablers. DBT transfers subsidies directly to people through their bank accounts.

National Knowledge Network (NKN)

The NKN project intends to establish a strong and robust network capable of providing secure and reliable, high-speed connectivity. It is a system that connects all knowledge and research institutions in the country through a high bandwidth network. NKN the aims to connect more than 1,500 education and research institutes.

Bharat Net

BharatNet is the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project and aims to connect all Indi’s village councils (approximately 2.5 lakh) through broadband connectivity. The project provides affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in the rural and remote areas. Phase-I of the project ended in December 2017, with over 100,000 village councils being made service-ready. Phase-II is expected to be completed by March 2019.

State Wide Area Network (SWAN)

The objective of SWAN is to connect all states and union territory headquarters up to the block-level through the district and sub-divisional headquarters, in a vertical hierarchical structure with a minimum bandwidth capacity of 2 Megabits per second (Mbps) per link.

National Centre of Geo-informatics Overview National Centre of Geo-informatics (NCoG)

NCoG is a single-source Geographic Information System (GIS) platform to share and collaborate. It is a location-based analytics and decision support system that caters to central and state government departments across the country.

The GIS platform has the provision to integrate with Management Information System (MIS) data collected by government departments. Under this project, location-based datasets, such as data related to mining, forests, and water resources are collated with MIS data to support decision-making.

National Information Infrastructure (NII) Pilot Project

The NII connects India’s existing networks and infrastructures to enhance their potential and utility and ensure economy in expenditure. The initiative has helped to identify gaps and challenges in the rural areas in the delivery of various e-governance and other social sector services.

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