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Owing to the digital advancement and schemes introduced in India, the wave of digital empowerment has hit the country and has brought about various changes in our lifestyles and work patterns. It is time when India is making efforts to meet the demands of its people in all aspects with one of the major aspects being ‘Digital empowerment’.
A number of initiatives have been introduced, programs have been announced in the field of agriculture, social welfare, financial, infrastructure along with increased focus on governance, online services to ensure digital empowerment of the population especially those of the rural citizens.
Digital India initiative
According to Wikipedia sources, ‘Digital India is an initiative by the Government of India to ensure that government services are reaching and are made available to the citizens electronically by building online infrastructure and by improving internet connectivity’. The concept of Digital India started back in the year 2015 by the efforts of our honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, on 1 July 2015. The scheme aims to bridge the gap between the rural areas and online services by providing the rural areas facilities of the latest technology including internet and envisions making one person in every family digitally literate. The vision behind coming up with the concept of Digital India was to change the life ofrural India and make every citizen a complete digital literate netizen.
The Indian Government has been making concerted efforts to achieve the three national targets under the scheme. First, improved facility of IT applications for rural development and agriculture, second, to enlarge the role of language in computers, and third, use of the internet to improve the government and citizen interface.
Considering the current scenario, technology has become an inevitable part of our daily life. From using mobile phones, drawing cash from ATMs to booking tickets, or placing orders for doorstep delivery, digital space has become a part of our daily routine. Hence, it is the need of the hour to be equipped with the necessary skills so that we can optimally usetechnology with responsibility.
India is a country of 37, 439 villages, and many of them are still far from the basic benefits and country’s impressive economic development. Despite all these hurdles, there’s a desire amongst rural people in India to become a part of modern Digital India.
The main aim behind making rural people digitally empowered:
As per Department of Electronics and Information, technology plays a highly significant role in the implementation of Digital India to achieve the target of connecting rural areas with high-speed internet connectivity. The digital revolution in rural areas will save valuable time for the people who earlier used to stand in long queues to get their work done.
The three important elements of digital India are digital literacy, formation of digital infrastructure, and delivering the services digitally. Collectively, all these factors will contribute to long term and broader vision of digital empowerment.
Digital literacy playing a key role in digital empowerment
Imparting Digital education in rural people across the country is a very critical step. True development of any country comes from its inclusive growth, hence digital literacy used in the fields like education, technology, and connectivity, health care, citizen services, financial services, etc. has brought a huge difference in the socio-economic dynamics of our country in the past few years. Needless to say, digital literacy plays a salient role in digitally empowering rural people and in the introduction of e-services such as e-commerce, e-panchayat, e-governance, and e-learning, etc.in such geographies.
Advantages of Digital empowerment for Rural people
Empowering rural people digitally comprises of innumerable advantages. Few of the major ones are:
– Limitless and timeless accessibility to an internet connection which ensures seamless working from any nook and corner
– Boosts economic growth of the country
– Government Policies and schemes will have more reach than before
– Facilitates smooth interaction and quick transactions in businesses thus making life and work easy and simple for people living in villages
– Instant access to information and updates thereby helping in keeping the rural people informed
– Digitization effectively preserves a huge amount of resources and, and it is way more eco-friendly
– Real time collection of consumer requests and problem solving
– Improves socio-economic affairs of the rural people
Financial digital empowerment
As a part of digital empowerment, technology has forayed into the financial lives of the rural population as well. With the technological adoption, the rural market is now relying on online methods to make transactions, manage their bank accounts, and pay their bills. The pandemic further gave the required push for the initiation of cashless era and introduction of state of the art technology in their finance management.
There are various organizations working to ensure the provision of high end technical solutions to ensure digital empowerment of the rural areas. Mobile vans and kiosks have been set up that enable the people to use digital methods for making payments. Developed with a blockchain based transaction framework, these modern digital solutions offer myriad of options for bill payment services to the rural people which includes kiosks, mobile applications, PoS service, mobile ATP van just to name a few. They provide a single window for paying the bills thus making transactions easy, simple and quick for the rural people.
Also, there are multi-utility bill payments stops and doorstep banking facilities available to ensure that the rural people have access to the advanced technology and can seamless carry forward their transactions in the online space and reduce their dependency on cash.
The future of India, when viewed from a digital lens seems like an unlocked path all set to give a wide contribution to the wide growth of our country, including rural growth stories across the nation.
Digital India has paved the way for innumerable benefits, such as Digi locker, E-pay services, Online consultation with doctors, Internet in Panchayats, Wi-fi connectivity at remote locations and rural people are also enjoying benefits of the above-mentioned initiatives under the on-going digital revolution. Rural people are now empowering themselves digitally with the help of many schemes available and accessible to them which has made their lives better and their work smooth and quick.