బుద్ధ పూర్ణిమ సందర్బం లో బుద్ధ భగవానుని సిద్ధాంతాల ను ప్రధాన మంత్రి శ్రీ నరేంద్ర మోదీ స్మరించుకొన్నారు. వాటిని పూర్తి చేయడం కోసం ప్రధాన మంత్రి తన సంకల్పాన్ని పునరుద్ఘాటించారు.
ప్రధాన మంత్రి ఒక ట్వీట్ లో -
‘‘బుద్ధ పూర్ణిమ నాడు మనం భగవాన్ బుద్ధుని యొక్క సిద్ధాంతాల ను జ్ఞాపకానికి తెచ్చుకొందాం మరి వాటిని ఆచరణ లోకి తీసుకురావడం కోసం మన సంకల్పాన్ని పునరుద్ఘాటించుదాం. భగవాన్ బుద్ధుని ఆలోచన లు మన భూగ్రహాన్ని మరింత శాంతిపూర్ణంగాను, సద్భావనపూర్వకం గాను మరియు చిరకాలం పాటు మనగలిగేలా చేయగలుగుతాయి.’’ అని పేర్కొన్నారు.
On Buddha Purnima we recall the principles of Lord Buddha and reiterate our commitment to fulfil them. The thoughts of Lord Buddha can make our planet more peaceful, harmonious and sustainable.
We are well aware that across recent two decades, access to digital technology has become a prerequisite to living a dignified life. Prior to 2014, due to factors such as inequality in education, cultural disparity, disability or learning issues, India suffered significantly from the “digital divide”. Digital divide refers to the gap in one's ability and inability to access digital and information technology. Essentially, this means the divide between those with access to digital technology and those without access. Socio-economic and geographical factors aggravated this divide in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government came into power in 2014 with the promise of good governance and development for all. The Prime Minister took it upon him and his team to come up with unprecedented reforms and bridge this digital divide. E-governance was made the cornerstone for public service deliveries. To realize the dream of a digitized India, the Digital India initiative was launched in 2015. Different pillars of Digital India include components like broadband highways, universal access to mobile connectivity, E-Kranti National e-Governance Plan among others.
The government has undertaken many path breaking projects to empower the nation digitally. One such step is the JAM trinity; linking the Aadhar card with Jan Dhan accounts. These new bank accounts were linked to both mobile numbers and Aadhaar, creating the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile, or JAM trinity. This digital network has now enabled direct transfer of funds to beneficiary accounts, without leakage. JAM supported the cause of maximum value for every rupee spent. It speeded maximum empowerment for our poor and technology penetration among the masses. In these 9 years, the internet subscription has increased by 150% in both - rural and urban areas. Leakages worth Rs 2.25 lakh crore have been saved due to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBTs).
Common Service Centres (CSCs) are one of the major programs that provide major government and business services in rural areas through digital mode. It has created over 3.8 lakh Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) as operators of CSCs. Over 400 digital services are being offered by these CSCs. So far, 5.21 lakh CSCs across the country are functional (including urban & rural areas), of which 4.14 lakh CSCs are functional at the Gram Panchayat level.
Another service that works in bridging the digital divide is DigiLocker, which allows users to share and access any certificates and documents digitally. As of May 2023, more than 16 crore users have registered on DigiLocker, and over 562 crore documents have been uploaded on the app. UMANG is a one stop platform that provides pan India e-Gov services ranging from central to local government bodies to Indian citizens. More than 1668 e-Services and over 20,197 bill payment services are available at UMANG, and over 358 crore transactions have been done on the app. Governance-centric participatory platform MyGov has over 3 crore registered users.
Another commendable project towards bridging the digital divide is Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), launched by the government in 2019. This scheme aims to make six crore rural population digitally literate, including the poor and marginalized sections of society. It will basically train people from rural areas to operate computers or digital access devices. It has registered 6.92 crore candidates and trained 5.96 crore candidates with 4.44 crore students certified as of May 2023.
The telecom sector plays a vital role in the digital awareness of the people. The revolutionization of the telecom sector under the current government is giving a big push to bridge the digital divide. 4G mobile services are being provided in 24,680 uncovered villages nationwide and 5G networks have been rolled out in 529 plus districts across the country.
SWAYAM is another key government initiative toward making India digitally literate. It was launched in 2017 and works as a digital Guru to students and teachers across the country. This project aims to make education more accessible and bring disadvantaged students to the mainstream. This initiative has worked wonders during the lockdown period.
There has been a complete revolution in sectors like agriculture and health through digital interventions. Apps like Kisan Suvidha and Meghdoot have been launched for the dissemination of critical information and crop advisories to the farmers. Gram Panchayats across India are being connected through broadband under the BharatNet project.
It is challenging to empower a populous country like India digitally. Despite this, the government has been successful in bridging the digital divide and making India more equitable in accessing technology to a large extent. Now, India is the world's largest connected democracy, with more than 80 crore of the population accessing the internet. Digital transactions in India grew manifold, from Rs 127 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 12,735 crore in 2022-23. Now the effort is to integrate and enable these services in local languages through AI based language platform Bhashini. With steps like this, India is on the right track toward bridging the digital divide.