An ambitious plan for taking India forward on the digital map of the world is definitely a great idea but we need infrastructure, implementation and monitoring strategy and safeguards against intrusion into privacy.
The limbo between the goal and the state of resources needs immediate redress. After the prioritising and setting of the goals, these detailed steps are very much essential and need to be articulated before taking the first step on the digital India initiative. Absence of a road map will only damage the prospect of the ambitious plan.
We need to assess where do we exactly stand and what steps are required to make the initiative a grand success. Despite being an IT superpower, India is ranked at 125 in the world, below Bhutan & Sri Lanka, in terms of broadband penetration and 110 on the availability of latest technologies.
The rank is 75 in terms of household penetration in developing countries. Voice connectivity is only about 60% and data penetration far lower about 20%. India has been categorised in the Least Connected Countries in the Group of 42 countries that fall in the low IDP group.
As per the World Economic Forum report, India has slipped to 89th rank among 143 countries in successfully levering information & communication technology for social and economic impact. Such a critical situation should compel us to pause and explore specific solution instead of ignoring them and moving forward without any proper institutional support mechanism.