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India works towards digital inclusion through e-services

Image credit: The Ministry of Electronics and IT; Compendium on Digital India

The Indian government has facilitated digital empowerment and inclusion by developing more than 3,500 services electronically across the country.

The number of electronic transactions of these services is approximately 91 million on a daily basis, according to the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

Some of these digital services include, among others, CSCs, DigiLocker, Jeevan Pramaan, DLC, and Mobile Seva.

Common Service Centres (CSCs)

CSCs are the front-end access points for the delivery of government electronic services.

CSCs provide digital services to citizens close to their place of residence, which contributes to a digitally and financially inclusive society. Currently, around 310,000 CSCs, spread all over the country, ensure that digital services are delivered in an accessible and affordable manner.

They create digital empowerment by providing more than 350 services in the fields of education, health, finance, and agriculture.

CSCs have been generating employment opportunities for India’s rural youth. CSCs support financial inclusion (through ebanking, DigiPay, insurance, and pension), healthcare services, skill development, and e-commerce.

DigiLocker

DigiLocker is a platform for the issuance and verification of documents and certificates online. This helps eliminate the need for physical documents.

Citizens that sign up for a DigiLocker account get a dedicated cloud storage space that is linked to their Aadhaar (UIDAI) number. Organisations that are registered with DigiLocker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates like, for example, driving licenses, voter IDs, and school certificates directly into these lockers.

Users can also upload scanned copies of their legacy documents in their accounts. These legacy documents can be electronically signed through the government’s eSign facility.

DigiLocker aims to provide digital wallets to every citizen so that documents can be made available electronically at one place and accessed from anywhere at any time.

Digital Life Certificate for Pensioners 

The Digital Life Certificate (DLC) for Pensioners Scheme or Jeevan Pramaan is a biometric-enabled digital service for pensioners.

Pensioners of the central government, state governments or any other government organisation can avail the benefit of this facility. One of the major requisites for the pensioners, post their retirement from service, is to provide life certificates to the authorised pension disbursing agencies (such as banks and post offices). Following which, their pension is credited to their respective bank accounts.

The DLC seeks to make this easier, by digitising the process.

Mobile Seva

Mobile Seva is an e-governance initiative that enables interactions between government departments and Indian citizens.

The programme includes a Mobile App Store to facilitate the process of deploying suitable mobile applications for the delivery of public services through mobile phones. Over 4,12 government departments have been integrated with the platform for mobile governance services.

Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG)

For easier access to government services, the UMANG platform was developed. It is as a unified platform to deliver major national services through mobile phones.

The platform enables the citizens to access primarily G2C services from the central government, states and union territories, and local bodies from a single application. UMANG currently offers 336 government services. It aims to have more than 1,200 digital services available on its platform.

MeghRaj

The government has started to utilise cloud computing. The MeghRaj initiative will accelerate the delivery of e-services in the country while optimising the government’s ICT-related spending.

It will ensure the development and deployment of e-governance applications. The architectural vision of GI cloud encompasses a set of discrete cloud computing environments spread across multiple locations, built on existing or new (augmented) infrastructure and following a set of common protocols, guidelines, and standards issued by the government.

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