New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved an umbrella programme Digital India comprising various projects worth about Rs 1 lakh crore to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.
The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology.
"This is a follow up to the key decisions taken on the design of the programme during the meeting of the Prime Minister on Digital India Programme on August 7, 2014, and to sensitise all ministries to this vast programme touching every corner of the government," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after a Cabinet meeting.
The programme will be implemented in phases from the current year till 2018.
"This scheme will include projects of all ministries. The budget of this programme will go up to Rs 1 lakh crore. Already budget provision exists for various programmes. If there is more requirement, then it will be given consideration by the government," Prasad added.
The vision of government under Digital India project includes creation of ICT infrastructure like high speed Internet at gram panchayat level, on demand availability of government services like health, education etc, and digital empowerment of citizens specially through digital literacy.
The programme will monitored by a committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will accord approval for projects.
A Digital India Advisory Group will be formed and will be chaired by the Minister of Communications and IT. There will be an Apex Committee which will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) or Committee on Non Plan Expenditure (CNE).
The Digital India programme is a transformed version of the already running National e-Governance Plan.
The project aims to provide thrust to nine pillars identified as growth areas. These pillars include-- broadband highways, everywhere mobile connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance, e-Kranti (which aims to give electronic delivery of services), information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for Jobs and early harvest programmes.
Under Digital India programme, all central government ministries and departments will come up with their individual projects that can be delivered to public using ICT like health services, education, judicial services etc.
Government will prefer to adopt Public Private Partnerships (PPP) wherever feasible for rolling out Digital India programme.
Apart for existing e-governance projects, government will restructure National Informatics Centre which facilitates roll out of IT projects in government departments.
Government will create positions of Chief Information Officers (CIO) in at least 10 key ministries so that various e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster.
Besides, the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) would create necessary senior positions within the department for managing the programme.