Modi govt to scale up Digital Village 2.0

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on May 28, 2019 Published on May 28, 2019

Under the Digital Village scheme, villages are provided Wi-Fi connectivity, while healthcare and education are provided digitally   -  istock/pixelfusion3d

Delivering services at beneficiaries’ doorstep earned the PM goodwill in rural areas

After reaping rich dividends from its ‘Digital Village’ initiative in the Lok Sabha polls, the Narendra Modi government, in its second term, is set to scale up the project. The focus is expected to be on expanding the reach of social schemes such as Ayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) besides ensuring financial services, basic healthcare and skill development in rural India. The PM-SYM is a scheme to provide old age pension and social security for unorganised sector workers.

Common Service Centres, formed under the IT Ministry, which deliver various welfare schemes in 700 villages are likely to be opened in more villages.

Of the 303 Lok Sabha seats which BJP won, 274 constituencies are those where the Centre pushed its Digital Village scheme providing access to information, knowledge and skill to the citizens using various components of Digital India initiative.

From making government services available to villagers at their doorstep to creating young rural entrepreneurs, Digital Villages have become agents of change in rural India, believe IT Ministry sources.

“Apart from States such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, BJP’s performance in states like West Bengal, Odisha, Telengana, Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern states has been remarkable,” said an IT Ministry source.

In all these States Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been actively monitoring the Digital Village scheme which is implemented by its arm — Common Service Centre (CSC) Special Purpose Vehicle. Outgoing IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had monitored implementation of Digital Village scheme. “On several occasions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had acknowledged role of CSC in making Digital Village a reality and ensuring benefits of government schemes reach rural hinterland,” said a senior MeitY official.

MeitY sources say officials have been sounded to prepare a detailed roadmap to take the scheme to the next level. The Modi-led government is keen to replicate the success of Digital Village in remaining villages across India.

Today the scheme is being implemented in 700 villages, one in every district across India. “Successful implementation of Digital Village scheme through CSCs has led to the Modi government winning hearts in rural India. And now with Modi pushing for ending poverty with renewed vigour, we can even see Digital Village in all new avatar with new social and financial schemes being implemented in rural areas through CSCs,” said the MeitY official. Dinesh Tyagi, Chief Executive Officer, CSC SPV, said, “The initial impact of Digital Village initiative has been huge. We are providing banking, education, healthcare, skill training digitally at CSCs. We believe that CSC can contribute the Digital India programme by helping extend its reach into rural and remote corners of the country. ”

“We can get one lakh villages transformed into Digital Villages within one year which would require support from all Ministries of the government. This will not only help villages realise their true potential, but will likely transform the Indian hinterland into a powerhouse in coming years,” Tyagi added.

Under the scheme, villages are provided Wi-Fi connectivity, with healthcare and education provided digitally. Similarly, CSCs in Digital Villages have also become hub of financial inclusion. CSC’s tie up with HDFC Bank is only going to make financial inclusion faster and better in rural India.

Published on May 28, 2019

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.