In a significant development, the cabinet has given its nod to the extension of the Digital India project, allocating a substantial budget of ₹14,903 crore. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced this decision, highlighting that the extended initiative will build upon the achievements of its previous iteration.
Extension of Digital India Project: Key Objectives and Allocations
Under the ambit of this extended Digital India project, several crucial objectives have been outlined, each aimed at bolstering India’s technological capabilities:
IT Professional Upskilling: A substantial portion of the allocated funds will be directed towards the reskilling and upskilling of approximately 5.25 lakh IT professionals. This effort is intended to enhance the digital proficiency of the workforce.
- IT Training: An equally important focus area is the training of around 2.65 lakh individuals in the field of information technology, equipping them with valuable skills for the digital age.
- Expansion of Supercomputing Infrastructure: As a part of the National Supercomputing Mission, the extension plan includes the addition of nine more supercomputers. This move is set to amplify India’s computational capabilities, contributing to scientific research and innovation.
- Digital Empowerment for Enterprises: The Digital India project aims to extend the benefits of the Digilocker app to micro, small, and medium enterprises. By leveraging this app, these enterprises can conveniently access credit and other services, with their documents securely stored and verified.
- Information Security Training: Around 2.65 lakh individuals will receive training in information security through the Information Security and Education Awareness Phase (ISEA) Programme. This initiative is crucial in the age of increasing cyber threats.
- Cyber Awareness for Students: A significant stride in the project involves conducting cyber awareness courses for a staggering 12 crore college students. This educational effort aims to equip the younger generation with the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital world safely.
- Enhancement of Cyber Forensics: The expansion of CertIn, which specializes in cyber forensics, emergency response, and cyber diagnosis, is also on the cards. This expansion will bolster India’s capabilities in handling cyber threats effectively.
- Strengthening National Knowledge Network: The National Knowledge Network, currently connecting 1,787 universities and research institutes, will be elevated to the status of Digital India Infoways. This move will foster collaboration and information exchange among academia and research.
- AI Center of Excellence: Acknowledging the significance of artificial intelligence, a center of excellence in this field will be established. This center will explore AI applications in critical sectors such as agriculture, health, and sustainability.
- Cyber Security Advancements: The extended project includes initiatives to enhance cyber security, including tool development and integration of over 200 sites with the National Cyber Coordination Centre.
- Startup Support in Tier 2 and 3 Cities: Encouraging entrepreneurship, the project has provisions for funding assistance to 1,200 startups based in tier 2 and 3 cities. This move aims to foster innovation in regions beyond major urban centers.
Building upon Success
The extension of the Digital India project with a substantial budget demonstrates the government’s commitment to advancing India’s digital landscape. By addressing critical areas such as upskilling, cybersecurity, and technology accessibility, this initiative is poised to make a significant impact on the nation’s technological evolution.