The interface between the citizen and the government is improving. The social equalisation is bringing people together. There is free flow of information and coupled with easy access, it is empowering people like never before. This kind of transformation was perhaps unimaginable a decade ago. Technology has come a long way and this is the essence of true Digital India where all citizens are going to be Digital Citizens in times to come.
Smart City is another ambitious step by the government. I see this as a journey and an act of partnership between the industry, citizens and the government. Government may have all the money to convert cities into smart, but the domain knowledge, expertise and technology will come only through collaboration. It is only by chipping in all the efforts will we be able to grow. Not only this, even a combination of smart city, digital governance, citizen services via web portal, data security, privacy and mobile technology will create better services environment for the citizens which are the building blocks of Digital India.
Government may have all the money to convert cities into smart, but the domain knowledge, expertise and technology will come only through collaboration. It is only by chipping in all the efforts will we be able to grow.
Transformation is a process that should be given its own time while making consistent efforts. It requires a robust and enabling ecosystem, perseverance, consistency and stability. Participatory democracy will be integral to this transformation. An efficient and effective utilisation of country’s resources is critical to the entire process. Technology will certainly help as a facilitator, but is not an end in itself.
For a digitally empowered nation, areas like health, education, citizen services, e-governance, transportation and utility should be focus areas. There have been several successes respectively in each of these areas and most of them would have been done in public-private-partnership mode. From my perspective, health and education are two areas where we have worldwide expertise in implementing solutions at a low-cost. In healthcare, we have created a PHC solution under our CSR and implemented it in 14 states covering 44 PHCs. This is handling more than 120,000 patient records on an ongoing basis. Just imagine if e-Healthcare services are scaled up to cover all of quarter million Gram Panchayats, it will be a true transformation. Our digital literacy campaign is benefiting over 200,000 students countrywide. These may appear to be islands of successes, but there are millions of such successes, which seen in totality, speak volumes of India’s growth. Times may not be far when India grows to become a $20 trillion economy by the year 2025—which will be a true transformation that every Indian should be looking forward to.
Som Satsangi is Vice President, HP India. Excerpted from his address at a recent Skoch Summit