India: The Rusty Spark into the Digital Revolution

ADRIAN NARAYAN WRITES– With the second highest number of internet users in the world, the Indian government’s new flagship program, ‘Digital India,’ has potential to become a great success.  With Prime Minister Modi’s trip to Silicon Valley in early September, hype over this new government initiative has wooed the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Along with others, these major tech companies have promised to invest in Modi’s ambitious plans to get rural Indians into the Digital Revolution. 

As the global benchmark seems to advance with the information age, its seems logical that PM Modi is ramping up a long-delayed effort to connect thousands of villages to the Indian Internet backbone using fiber-optic cable. Modi’s ambitious goal seeks to unite the nation with high-speed digital highways in order to unify 1.2 billion Indians and to drive innovation forward. This may seem like a prodigious task, but it may be even larger than the Indian government expects.

Now that Modi has successfully sold the idea of Digital India to investors abroad and Indian citizens, the question now is what is to be done after the sales pitch. What many Indian politicians and everyday people are beginning to wonder is whether or not Digital India can patch up the more critical issues of food, housing, and electricity that confronts the majority of Indian cities and villages. This digital revolution idea may have a substantial impact on innovating and growing India’s economy. Nevertheless, it has a substantial reason to fall short as a secondary resource for the masses.

While the state envisions a digitally fueled arrival into modernity, one suspects that this program will rely on citizens to consider and potentially prepare for a span of repercussions from the digitalisation of India’s political, economic and social infrastructure.

It isn’t enough for India to be liked or even loved, because to attract investment, they must generate returns to the growing domestic and international investments. Countries are a little more complex than a digital social media group like iFacebook. Regardless of the hurdles that ‘Digital India’ will have to face, this is a great initiative. After all, India needs to start somewhere in order to catch up with Digital Age.  

Let’s just hope that the Indian government hones in on providing for it’s citizens pressing needs before it leaps into the digital future.

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