Government Initiatives in IT Sector: IT and Computer

1. Digital India Program
The Digital India programme has been launched with an aim of transforming the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The Digital India would ensure that Government services are available to citizens electronically. It would also bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically.

Key Projects of Digital India programme:

Key Projects of Digital India programme:
a) Digital Locker System aims to minimize the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies. The sharing of the e-documents will be done through registered repositories thereby ensuring the authenticity of the documents online.

b) has been implemented as a platform for citizen engagement in governance, through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach. The mobile App for MyGov would bring these features to users on a mobile phone.

c) Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app would be used by people and Government organizations for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission.

d) eSign framework would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.

e) The Online Registration System (ORS) under the eHospital application has been introduced. This application provides important services such as online  registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online etc.

f) National Scholarships Portal is a one stop solution for end to end scholarship process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the Government of India.

g) DeitY has undertaken an initiative namely Digitize India Platform (DIP) for large scale digitization of records in the country that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens.

h) The Government of India has undertaken an initiative namely Bharat Net, a high speed digital highway to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre.

i) BSNL has introduced Next Generation Network (NGN), to replace 30 year old exchanges, which is an IP based technology to manage all types of services like voice, data, multimedia/ video and other types of packet switched communication services.

j) BSNL has undertaken large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. The user can latch on the BSNL Wi-Fi network through their mobile devices.

k) To deliver citizen services electronically and improve the way citizens and authorities transact with each other, it is imperative to have ubiquitous connectivity. The government also realises this need as reflected by including ‘broadband highways’ as one of the pillars of Digital India.  While connectivity is one criterion, enabling and providing technologies to facilitate delivery of services to citizens forms the other.

2. Meghraj Initiative Computing
Meghraj is the name given to the initiative of Government of India for its new program which is going to take advantage of the Cloud Computing. Meghraj is just a name coined for the purpose (Megh=Cloud, Raj=Rule i.e. Rule of Cloud Computing). As much absurd the name seems, but the advantages the Indians will get from this technology are immense. Another name for Meghraj is the GI Cloud Initiative. It will enable the government to leverage cloud computing for effective delivery of e-services.

Advantages of GI Cloud
Optimum Utilization of Existing infrastructure
Rapid Deployment and Reusability: Any software made available by any government of department in India can be made available to other departments as well without additional costs.
Manageability and Maintainability: It provides single point for maintaining Information & Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in India.
Scalability: According to the demands from the citizens of India, infrastructure of the government can be increased accordingly.
• Efficient Service Delivery
Security: A security framework for the entire GI Cloud will lead to less environmental complexity and less potential vulnerability
• Increased User Mobility
• Reduced Effort in Managing Technology
Standardization: GI Cloud shall prescribe the standards around interoperability, integration, security, data security and portability etc.

3. Code Free for India
• This initiative is started by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS).
• The initiative invites free software development community to develop solutions to address local and global needs.
• Programmers would be invited to develop tools and desktop applications, internet applications, mobile applications and enhance the cloud and internet of things technology.
• It will also encourage the use of local language computing tools and contemporary free software technology while keeping in mind bandwidth and device limitations.

4. e-Kranti : NeGP 2.0
• e-Kranti is an important pillar of the Digital India program.
• Vision of e-Kranti is “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.
• The Mission of e-Kranti is to ensure a Government wide transformation by delivering all Government services electronically to citizens through integrated and interoperable systems via multiple modes, while ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs.

The objectives of ‘e-Kranti’ are as follows:
• To redefine National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) with transformational and outcome oriented e-Governance initiatives.
• To enhance the portfolio of citizen centric services.
• To ensure optimum usage of core Information & Communication Technology (ICT).
• To promote rapid replication and integration of e-Governance applications.
• To leverage emerging technologies.
• To make use of more agile implementation models.

The key principles of e-Kranti are as follows:
• Transformation and not Translation.
• Integrated Services and not Individual Services.
• Government Process Reengineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every Mission Mode Project (MMP).
• Information Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure on Demand.
• Cloud by Default.
• Mobile First.
• Fast Tracking Approvals.
• Mandating Standards and Protocols.
• Language Localization.
• National GIS (Geo-Spatial Information System).
• Security and Electronic Data Preservation

5. Use of IT in financial inclusion
Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society, in contrast to financial exclusion where those services are not available or affordable. According to the Rangarajan Committee Report, 2008, financial inclusion is, “The process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost”

Some of the commonly promoted distribution technologies for financial inclusion in India include the following:

1) IT-enabled Kiosks for Financial Inclusion (They are small and self-operated IT-enabled centers that provide the customers with banking features such as cheque or cash deposit, internet banking, non-cash ATM transaction and teller enquiries.)

2) Mobile phone based financial services: Mobile banking (m-banking) and Mobile payments (m-payments)

3) Automated Teller Machines (ATM): Biometric ATM, Mobile ATM and Micro ATM.

4) Biometric handheld device

5) Smart cards and POS (point-of-service)

6. Li-fi Technology and its Application

• Light Fidelity (Li-Fi)-a revolutionary new technology that transmits high-speed data using lights.It is touted asbeing nearly 100 times faster than the traditional Wi-Fi technology based on transmission of radio waves.

• Li-Fi, or light fidelity, invented by German physicist and professor Harald Haas, is a wireless technology that makes use of visible light in place of radio waves to transmit data at terabits per second speeds-more than 100 times the speed of Wi-Fi.

• A simple Visible Light Communication (VLC) system has two qualifying components: 1) At least one device with a photodiode able to receive light signals 2) A light source equipped with a signal processing unit.

• A VLC light source could comprise of a fluorescent or Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulb. Since a robust Li-Fi system requires extremely high rates of light output, LED bulbs are most ideal for implementing Li-Fi. LED is a semiconductor light source, which implies that LED light bulbs can amplify light intensity and switch rapidly. Therefore, LED cells can modulate thousands of signals without the human eye ever noticing. In turn, the changes in light intensity from the LED light source are interpreted and converted as electrical current by the receiving photodiode device. Once the electronic signal is demodulated, it is converted into a continuous stream of binary data comprising of audio, video, web, and application information to be consumed by any Internet-enabled device.

• Li-Fi offers great promise to overcome the existing limitations of Wi-Fi by providing for data-heavy communication in short ranges. Since it does not pollute, it can be called a green technology for device-to-device communication in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Smart Lighting: Any private or public lighting including street lamps can be used to provide Li-Fi hotspots and the same communications and sensor infrastructure can be used to monitor and control lighting and data.

Mobile Connectivity: Laptops, smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices can interconnect directly using Li-Fi. Short range links give very high data rates and also provides security.

Hazardous Environments: Li-Fi provides a safe alternative to electromagnetic interference from radio frequency communications in environments such as mines and petrochemical plants.

Hospital & Healthcare: Li-Fi emits no electromagnetic interference and so does not interfere with medical instruments, nor is it interfered with by MRI scanners.

Aviation: Li-Fi can be used to reduce weight and cabling and add flexibility to seating layouts in aircraft passenger cabins where LED lights are already deployed. In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems can also be supported and integrated with passengers’ own mobile devices.

Underwater Communications: Due to strong signal absorption in water, RF use is impractical. Acoustic waves have extremely low bandwidth and disturb marine life. Li-Fi provides a solution for short-range communications.

Vehicles & Transportation: LED headlights and tail-lights are being introduced. Street lamps, signage and traffic signals are also moving to LED. This can be used for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications. This can be applied for road safety and traffic management.

Location Based Services (LBS): Highly accurate location-specific information services such as advertising and navigation that enables the recipient to receive appropriate, pertinent information in a timely manner and location.

7. Internet of things (IOT)
• The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. It is also known as “the infrastructure of the information society.”

• British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton coined the term in 1999, referring to a global network of objects connected to radio-frequency identification, or RFID).

• “Things,” in the IoT sense, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring or field operation devices that assist firefighters in search and rescueoperations. Legal scholars suggest to look at “Things” as an “inextricable mixture of hardware, software, data and service”.

• Benefits of IoT

– Environmental monitoring:
– Infrastructure management
– Manufacturing
– Energy management
– Medical and healthcare systems
– Building and home automation
– Transportation

8. Big Data Initiative
Big Data – is data whose scale, diversity, and complexity require new architecture, techniques, algorithms, and analytics to manage it and extract value and hidden knowledge from it.  In other words, big data is characterized by volume, variety (structured and unstructured data) velocity (high rate of changing) and veracity (uncertainty and incompleteness).

• The Indian government has launched a Big Data Initiative¸ with the following aims:

– Promoting and fostering big data science, technology and applications in India and developing core generic technologies, tools and algorithms for wider applications in the government.
– Understanding the present status of the industry in terms of market size, different players providing services across sectors/ functions, opportunities, SWOT of industry, policy framework (if any), present skill levels available etc.
– Carrying out market landscape surveys to assess the future opportunities and demand for skill levels in next 10 years.
– Carrying out gap analysis in terms of skills levels and policy framework.
– Evolving a strategic road map and action plan clearly defining of roles of various stakeholders – government, industry, academia, industry associations and others with clear timelines and outcome for the next 10 years.
– Recently Government has initiated steps for collecting big data under following schemes:
Aadhar People belonging to marginalized sections of society in India often do not have a valid proof of identity. As a result, they miss out on availing social benefits provided by the government. To overcome this Indian government launched a scheme to issue a unique 12-digit number, termed ‘Aadhaar’ (meaning ‘foundation’ or ‘support’) to every resident of India. It is an identification that a person can carry for a life time and potentially use with any service provider. Aadhaar is the world’s largest ID platform.
Digilocker – DigiLocker provides a personal storage space in the cloud to Indian citizens. Organizations that are registered with DigiLocker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates (e.g. driving license, Voter ID, School certificates) directly into citizens’ lockers.

9. Google Project loon
• To improve the broadband services in the rural areas Google has initiated Project Loon.

• Google defines Project Loon as a “network of balloons travelling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters”.

• Project Loon balloons will travel in the stratosphere, approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface, latching on to layers of wind as directed by software algorithms to determine where they need to go.

• In the end, they will form one large communications network. Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using wireless communication Long Team Evolution (LTE) or 4G.

• Project Loon partners with telecom companies to share cellular spectrum.

• It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California and Brazil. To use LTE or 4G, Project Loon partners with telecom companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.

• Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day.

UPI – Unified Payment Interface (UPI) allows you to make payments using your mobile phone as the primary device for transactions, through the creation of a ‘virtual payment address’, which is an alias for your bank account. UPI was launched by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

BHIM App – The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) in an initiative by the Govt to enable fast,secure and reliable cashless payments through mobile phones. BHIM is Aadhaar-enabled, inter- operable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts, and has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This seals the government’s push towards digital payments after the demonetization that resulted in the scrapping of high-value Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.

Aadhar Pay – There are lots of payment apps in the market. These are the UPI apps, SBI Pay, Paytm, Phonepe, Freecharge, mobile wallets etc. But, the AAdhaar Payment App is special as you can pay through the Adhaar Payment App without phone. It is possible because you the customer does not require the app. The merchant or a person, who want money, have to arrange a smartphone, app, etc. The payer don’t require anything. This app is made for the merchants and shopkeepers. Customer would only enjoy its benefits. The Adhaar Payment Appuses your fingerprints for the authentication. On the basis of this authentication, the money ispaid from your Aadhaar linked account.

IMPS – Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. It is also being extended through other channels such as ATM, Internet Banking, etc.

POS terminals – A point-of- sale (POS) terminal is a computerized replacement for a cash register. Much more complex than the cash registers of even just a few years ago, the POS system can include the ability to record and track customer orders, process credit and debit cards, connect to other systems in a network, and manage inventory. Generally, a POS terminal has as its core a personal computer, which is provided with application-specific programs and I/O devices for the particular environment in which it will serve.

USSD – USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a Global System for Mobile(GSM) Communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network. Applications may include prepaid roaming or mobile chatting.

• The Government of India has undertaken an initiative namely Bharat Net, a high speed digital highway to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of country. This would be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre.

Vision – BharatNet shall be a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.

• The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India

Implementation – The project is a Center-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fiber Network. The three-phase implementation of the BharatNet project is as follows

• The first phase envisages providing one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines by March 2017.

• Microsoft India is ready with a plan to provide free last-mile internet connectivity across the country. It proposes to use the “white space” – the unused spectrum between two TV channels – to provide free connectivity to large sections of the Indian population.

• Wifi has a range of only about 100 metres, whereas the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km. This spectrum belongs mainly to Doordarshan and the government and is not used at all. Pilot project is planned in two districts. If the pilots are successful, the project can be quickly rolled out across the country and could give a huge boost to GovtsDigital India initiative, which proposes to use technology to deliver governance to every citizen of India, even in remote areas.

• The challenge is the lack of digital infrastructure across India. This initiative addresses this challenge in a cost-effective manner and creates an eco-system that will benefit everyone, including manufacturers of routers and other technology devices, other technology companies, besides Microsoft.

• Microsoft’s initiative also take forward the PM’s slogan of “IT + IT = IT”, which is Indian talent plus information technology equals India tomorrow and also give a push to the ‘Make in India’ campaign by encouraging the manufacture of equipment locally.

epashuhaat – Govt launched e-pashuhaat portal on the occasion of National Milk Day. Under the scheme National Mission on Bovine Productivity ‘e-pashuhaat’ portal has been developed for connecting breeders and farmers regarding availability of bovine germplasm. Through the portal breeders/farmers can sell and purchase breeding stock, information on all forms of germplasm including semen, embryos and live animals with all the agencies and stakeholders in the country has been uploaded on the portal. Through this portal, farmers will be aware about the availability of quality disease free bovine germplasm with different agencies in the country. The portal will lead to propagation of high genetic merit germplasm.

e-Pathshala – E-Pathshala has been developed by NCERT for showcasing and disseminating all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals and a variety of other print and non-print materials through website and mobile app. The platform addresses the dual challenge of reaching out to a diverse clientele and bridging the digital divide (geographical, socio-cultural and linguistic), offering comparable quality of e-contents and ensuring its free access at every time and every place.

NAM – National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The NAM Portal provides a single window service for all APMC related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals & prices, buy & sell trade offers, provision to respond to trade offers, among other services. While material flows (agriculture produce) continue to happen through mandis, an online market reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry.

‘ShaGun’ – Govt launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. ‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

AirSewa Portal : To provide a hassle-free and comfortable air travel experience to people, it is necessary to recognize the pattern of problems that people face, and make suitable systemic improvements in our working. So the Government launched the AirSewa portal to offer people a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience. It will be operated through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms. The portal will include a mechanism for grievance redressal, back office operations for grievance handling, flight status/schedule information, airport Information and FAQs.



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