Tuesday, September 21, 2021
HomeOpinionDiaryBuild internet infrastructure first

Build internet infrastructure first

I am lucky that I am not visiting any village in the near future.  Otherwise the incisive ladies there will ask me in their local dialect, “Bhaiya which button should I press on the mobile for ordering pizza? Many of us underestimate these village women who are very hard working, intelligent and come to the point directly. From manual calculation to slide rule and log tables to computer, we have progressed naturally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot put a full stop to natural progression.

Few days back, the Modi government unveiled the Digital India programme. It aims at transforming the country into a digitally-empowered knowledge economy, and bringing as many as 2.5 villages under broadband connectivity. The entire plan will offer five products — Digitize India Platform, Digital Locker, National Scholarship Portal, e-Hospital and e-Sign. It will have four portals/apps — Digital India Portal and Mobile App, MyGov Mobile App, Swachh Bharat Mission App and Aadhaar Mobile Update App. Digital India can reduce corruption and pave way for good governance.

On the other hand, it is difficult for the government to make India digital as the nation faces various challenges due to lack of broadband penetration, internet infrastructure, slow internet speeds and lack of electricity in rural areas. The government will have to address these issues first before going ahead with the Digital India programme. It should also raise the minimum broadband speed from 512 kbps to 2 mbps for meeting the global standards.

Technical developments do take place and will keep on happening hereafter and ever after. Earlier we used to clean fuel filters on ship manually and then came the ultrasonic devices. We used to tighten the nuts manually and later pneumatic tools were used followed by hydraulic tools. Thus technological innovations will continue to occur but to project it in a disproportionate manner, in an aggregate manner, can be termed as mere publicity. There is an urgent need to control the rising population which may affect the nation’s growth. Steps must be taken to enhance the water supply and electricity production. The Digital part will come along automatically.

Don’t publicise that Digital India will solve all problems of our nation. It merely sounds like “India shining campaign”.  Don’t say that I will push a button and every task will be completed automatically and mislead the masses in this manner. The government must concentrate on upgrading skills of the youth. It must seek assistance from foreign experts, learn from them how to work on several projects using various techniques. Even Arun Jaitley had said this in a press conference. Learn hard things and soft things will follow.

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