Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed how revolutionary the use of technology through the Digital India campaign has made India an example of a digitally empowered government.
Speaking on adapting new technology according to shifting needs, PM Modi while addressing a gathering after inaugurating Digital India Week 2022 in Gandhinagar said, “Digital India is an example of how the revolutionary use of technology can benefit all entire humanity.” He further said, “I am glad that this campaign (Digital India), which started eight years ago, has been expanding itself with the changing times.”
“Today, I am happy to announce that India is not just part of the Industry 4.0 Revolution but is actually leading it,” he said. The Prime Minister said all programmes launched today are going to add pace to India’s Techade and will give a fillip to India’s startup ecosystem.
Speaking on the various ways how Digital India led to improvements in ease of living for citizens, he said, “from getting a pension to getting a birth certificate, tasks that earlier required weeks can now be done within hours.”
“Eight to 10 years ago, we had to stand in lines (queues) for everything. We had to stand in line for birth certificates, to pay bills, for ration, for admission, for exam results, for certificates, in banks. How many lines we used to stand in? India has eliminated all lines by going online,” he said.
Adoption of digital platforms such as Aadhaar, UPI and more was made possible by leadership by example and leading from the front, he said.
“If India does not adopt new technology with changing times, it will remain backward. The country experienced this during the third industrial revolution,” Modi said. He further hailed India for having the lowest data cost in the world and said, “internet penetration has transformed the lives of citizens.”
The central government’s flagship programme Digital India has given relief to the poor from corruption and it is working to eliminate middlemen in all fields, Modi said at the event. “‘Time is Money’, is a phrase we have heard many times. Through Digital India we have helped citizens save time through easy access to multiple services,” he said.
Speaking on how Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in welfare schemes enabled Rs 23 lakh crore to be sent directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. “Due to this technology, about Rs 2.25 lakh crore rupees have been saved from falling into the wrong hands,” he said.
Hailing the Common Service Centres for playing an essential role in taking Government services and e-commerce to the grassroots, the PM said, “Digital India has bridged the gap between development and amenities in rural and urban India.”
He further said the digital infrastructure built in the last eight years also played a pivotal role in helping India combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
aking on his critics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a time when the entire world was discussing how India was able to give certificates to people soon after they were vaccinated against Covid-19, there were some people who were just focusing on why was his photo appearing on these documents. Modi also criticized former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram, without taking his name, for opposing in Parliament move to push online payment modes such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface).
“The potential which the Digital India programme has built in the country in the last eight years has immensely helped us during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to run the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination and relief programmes due to it,” Modi said. He said technology came handy in providing relief to vulnerable sections of the society during the pandemic.
“We transferred crore of rupees in the bank accounts of women, farmers, labourers during the pandemic. With the help of ‘one nation one ration card’ we ensured that free ration is distributed to 80 crore people of the country,” the PM said. Modi said India’s digital-driven Covid-19 vaccination programme (CoWin served as technology platform for the humongous inoculation exercise) received world-wise praise.