Digital India, the central government’s flagship program started with three major objectives in 2015 — digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of the citizen.
In an e-book titled “Catalyzing New India’s Techade”, the government has listed nationwide initiatives launched under the Digital India program, highlighting how the country has been transforming.
“In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of people in ways that were hard to imagine in the past. I see technology as a means of empowerment and as a tool that bridges between hope and opportunity in this digital age,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in the e-book.
Here is the list of 10 major citizen-centric initiatives launched in the last few years:
Aadhaar has provided India with a trustworthy identification perspective and is the largest digital identification program in the world that offers individuals biometric and demographically based digital identities that can be confirmed at any time, from any location. It does away with duplicate and fake identities.
More than just an identity proof for citizens, Aadhaar has emerged as an important digital document that people can use to access government apps like BHIM, could be used as proof to obtain other important government documents like passports, bank accounts and others.
According to data, as of June 2022, over 1,336,000,000 Aadhaar cards have been generated, and more than 12,198,000,000 eKYCs have taken place (verifying the identity of an Aadhaar number holder through an online electronic KYC service). Similarly, 73,469,438,918 Aadhaar authentications were done, while the number for Aadhaar updation is more than 643,000,000.
Unified Payments Interface
UPI, the system which helped millions of Indians transfer money immediately through mobile devices, has changed India’s payment system. Since its launch in 2016, the UPI framework in India has advanced significantly, making it easier than ever for businesses and consumers to conduct transactions from the convenience of their mobile devices.
According to government data, digital transactions in India have jumped 19 times in the past seven years. There are 304 banks on the UPI system and the monthly volume of transactions is 4.52 billion.
Between 2020 and 2021, UPI transactions reached a record Rs 2,200 crore, and by 2025–2026, it is anticipated to reach Rs 169,900 crore, expanding at a CAGR of 122%. Since the launch of the UPI system, the transaction value so far has been Rs 34.95 lakh crore.
This is a platform which allows people to digitise as well as keep a copy of more than 560 different documents, including government-issued ID cards. The app surpassed 100 million users recently.
DigiLocker, a key initiative under the Digital India program, has been an effective platform for the issuance and verification of documents and certificates digitally while eliminating the need for physical documents. As of June this year, government records showed that there are 112.19 million registered users and 5.10 billion documents have been issued.
Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance or UMANG is a platform that aggregates major government services (from the Centre, states, and local bodies), as well as important utility services to provide single-point access through the mobile app anytime and anywhere.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the National e-Governance Division created it to foster mobile governance in India. To access major government services, people only need to download one app rather than many apps.
It caters to important segments of the society, including farmers, students, employees, pensioners, women, patients, youth and others. In addition to English, UMANG supports 22 Indian languages. UMANG includes 291 departments and 22,098 services, and as of June, over 448 lakh registrations have been done.
Covid Vaccine Intelligent Work or Co-WIN was launched in January 2021 as part of India’s vaccination drive, which recently clinched the 200 crore mark.
The website was designed to allow people to reserve vaccine slots, keep track of the country’s general immunisation programme and get the Covid-19 vaccine certificate. More specifically, this initiative helped people book appointments for vaccine doses using their phones at home, without the need to go out.
According to government data, as of June, total registration number on Co-WIN stood at 84,27,66,423.
This app, which joined the Digital India program for the health and well-being of the country, was launched during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, on April 2, 2020. It was developed in a public-private partnership to help the country fight against the deadly virus.
This app enables people to access their own risk of catching novel coronavirus, as it can calculate the risk based on their interaction with others, using Bluetooth technology, algorithms and AI. The personal data collected by the app is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.
As of June, the app crossed 21,00,00,000 downloads, while through this service, 85,85,26,353 samples have been tested.
Government e-marketplace or GeM was established to simplify the online procurement of goods and services required by various government departments and organisations.
It has improved the transparency, efficiency and speed of government procurement. Without intermediaries, businesses in the most remote parts of the country can sell their goods to the government and this has resulted in increased entrepreneurship in the country.
GeM also offers e-bidding and reverse e-education capabilities, as well as demand aggregation, to enable government users to get the most bang for their buck.
There are 4,619,211 sellers associated with GeM and the number of products is 4,163,328 as of June. The total transaction through GeM so far is 261,556 crore.
Goods and Services Tax Network or GSTN was established to provide common PAN-based registration to enable return filling and payment processing for all states.
The state and central government taxes have been combined with GSTN. This has eliminated the cascading effect of taxes, lowering the burden on both the buyer and seller.
With the reduction in payable taxes for consumer goods producers such as FMGC, the automated sector will be forced to lower the pricing of their commodities. This allows the consumer to pay less for these services while seeking to use them.
According to government data, in 2020-2021, net GST collection stood at Rs 5.48 lakh crore.
One Nation, One Ration Card
This system enables all NFSA recipients, particularly migratory beneficiaries, to claim their full or partial food grains from any Fair Price Stop in the country using their existing ration cards and biometric/Aadhaar authentication.
Beneficiaries can provide any FPS vendor with either their ration card number or their Aadhaar number. Anyone in the household who has seeded their Aadhaar number on their ration card is eligible for authentication and rationing.
Furthermore, there is no requirement to share a ration card or Aadhaar with the ration dealer in order to benefit. Beneficiaries can authenticate their Aadhaar cards using their fingerprints or iris scans.
As of June, 35 states/ UTs have implemented the scheme, while the total number of beneficiaries is 80 crore.
Digital India Learning Management System
Launched in March 2017, LMC is an application that manages, documents, tracks, and reports on training programmes, online events, e-learning programmes, and training content.
It enables the efficient management of e-learning and training for various government officials at the national and state/union territory levels. Its goal is to improve users’ knowledge and skills in accordance with their roles as defined by the e-governance competency framework.
Additionally, LMC provides enhanced learning, seamless training, business insight and analytics, flexibility, as well as evolved and updated content. So far, the number of beneficiaries is more than 5,530,000 and there were more than 9,700 e-classes as of June this year.