5 Ambitious Digital Initiatives From 100 Days Of Narendra Modi Government

Narendra Modi's NDA government at the center completes 100 days. We look at 5 of the ambitious digital and social media initiatives our PM has taken during this time

Modi Japan Trip

Born after independence, Narendra Modi, India’s 15th Prime Minister is presently leading the country with full vigor. The Modi led NDA government which had a thunderous victory in the General Elections, has successfully completed 100 days in power.

Looking back at the 100 days even the opposition is finding it difficult to address it. In these 100 days, the ex CM of Gujarat and present PM of India, Modi has built a road map to make the country stronger; he has also made sure that the bi-lateral relations with the neighboring countries are built on the grounds of peace and economic growth. The visits to countries like Bhutan, Nepal and the recently concluded 5 day visit to Japan are substantial enough.

In this journey of 100 days, Modi has focused on boosting the financial state of the country, ushering reforms, abolishing redundant structures, tackling inflation, among other primary concerns of the country. Additionally, empowering the country with a digital framework, his promise during his campaigning days, has also seen a clear path.

Modi, who has been a strong believer of social media, has kept the faith and focus after becoming the PM. Not only has he actively used the social and digital mediums, he has also made sure his party workers, leaders, offices no more remain digitally challenged. The message from Modi for his ministers was to use social media for public outreach.

 

1. Prime Minister’s revamped website launched

The first thing Modi did on the digital front after being declared as the 15th PM of India was revamping the official PM’s website. Today the site is a complete directory of all the happenings and activities that is keeping our PM busy. While there are categories to know the PM better and PMO better, the site for the first time has a section to have a look at the social media updates and a space to interact with the PM. The website which was launched on 26th May had a message from the PM to its citizens. The message encapsulated the PM’s vision for a strong, developed and inclusive India.

2. Launch of MyGov citizen portal

Right after competing 60 days in power, Modi launched his government’s biggest digital project to connect with the common man with governance – MyGov.

The portal is designed as a medium for people to connect with the government and to contribute to governance by giving their opinions on key projects like Clean Ganga, Digital India, Green India, among others. The portal accessible in English and Hindi has been created with two broad thought processes – one discussing on core issues and second executing ideas on Girl Child Education, Green India, Job Creation, among others. Users can create a profile on the portal and be a part of the movement. After joining a particular group, one can view discussions, tasks and be a part of them. mygov Narendra Modi Besides user participation Modi government has been crowd sourcing ideas for different projects. One of the ongoing projects is logo design for Digital India. Netizens can be part of this ongoing contest  which has cash prizes too. One can even see the entries for the contest that has got close to 7000 entries. A similar contest was organized last month for the users to suggest name, logo and tagline for the financial inclusion program announced by our PM during the historic Independence Day speech. More than 6000 entries were received. The Jury selected and shortlisted names from which “Jan Dhan” was picked up for the name of the scheme.

Later our PM felicitated the winners of the contest at the launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana. The portal got its latest push when Modi invited ideas from people on what shape the new institution to replace the Planning Commission can take. Admittedly, Mygov is a citizen driven portal where ideation has met execution, credits to the PM and his team.

3. Digital India program

Modi was always of the vision of making India digitally equipped. During his maiden speech at Red Fort on Independence Day, he stated that digital India is for the poor as well as the rich. He said that if the villages could be connected with broadband, education could be provided to children in even the last school and tele-medicine facilities could greatly help the poor.

100 days of digital modiHis vision is getting shape with the cabinet approving the ambitious ‘Digital India’ program last week. Envisaged by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity), Digital India will be implemented in phases from the current year till 2018.

The program aims at providing digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen as well as high-speed internet as a core utility in all gram panchayats. The overall scope of this program is “to prepare India for a knowledge future”, “to make technology central to enabling change” and “to become an umbrella program covering many departments”, Union Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Digital_India_ModiAs part of the plan ET states, the government has set a target of providing broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh villages (India has about 6.41 lakh villages, according to the 2011
Census) and making as many schools Wi-fi-enabled by 2019. Digital India will be the umbrella program for the government’s initiatives in the area and will entail an expenditure of Rs. 1.13 lakh crore in existing and new plans.

Another focus area in the Digital India program is e-governance. Besides making government services available on internet and mobile platforms, the key challenge will be to take the 2.5 lakh panchayats in the country online. The target of the mission is also to make 10 lakh people digitally literate by end-2015.

To make this dream a reality, the private sector and civil society is joining hands too. If reports are to believed, Modi government is mulling over appointing a CEO for the ambitious digital dream. “We have to scale it up now; which is why we are appointing a full-time CEO, and have a full team, which will have content managers, moderators, etc,” Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) secretary R S Sharma told Business Standard.

4. Digital Cloud for every Indian

The next big push from the PM is to free up service delivery from the hold of the lower bureaucracy with the introduction of digital cloud for every Indian.

Information and technology secretary Ram Sewak Sharma, who is overseeing the ambitious MyGov.in program of the government shared with ET that Certificates issued by the government — education, residential, medical records, birth certificates, etc. — are to be stored in individual ‘digital lockers’ and a communication protocol established for government departments to access them without physically having to see the hard copy.

“The Prime Minister was very clear that he didn’t want copies of certificates issued by the government itself to be carried around by people to government offices for various services. “ Giving an example Ram Sewak Sharma informed that going further if a student is applying to a government college and has studied in a government-aided school, then all his records should be accessible to the college. Right now the idea is being floated around MyGov and suggestions are being worked out for a “communication protocol.”

5. Extensive use of social media continues

All these ambitious digital efforts are being powered by the extensive use of social media from the PM himself, the PMO and the party leaders.

Modi had befriended social media back in 2007 and today he has conquered Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, among others. Leading social networks like Facebook and Twitter have acknowledged his dominance too.  The below election victory tweet from him remains the most-retweeted tweet of all time from India and the selfie with his mother the second most.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who visited India in the month of July made sure that she said hello to Modi. The future of Facebook lies in emerging countries like India and when we have a PM who has been a staunch supporter of social media, the meeting made all the right sense.

Sheryl Sandberg Narendra Modi

Recently, Twitter India blogged about Modi’s 100 days stating that it has set a new standard for Indian diplomacy on Twitter. The blog post states:

@NarendraModi’s 100 days at the helm have seen him break new ground in engaging with Indian citizens and world leaders as the new Prime Minister of India. Twitter is now at the forefront of the PM’s communication strategy as he uses both his personal handle (@narendramodi) and official handle (@PMOIndia) to give live updates on his every move and any announcement he makes in India or abroad to a combined audience of 8.5 million followers (and growing fast).

According to Twitter, Modi is now the second-most followed politician in the world (after Barack Obama) on Twitter and has added 2 million followers in the 100 days of his government.

In just a matter of 100 days, Modi has re-defined diplomacy on offline as well as on Twitter. His latest visit to Japan was the best example when his social accounts were sharing thoughts in Japanese as well as English. He also exchanged tweets with his Japanese counterpart @ShinzoAbe, signalling a new stage of friendship and warmth between the two countries.

In these 100 days, PM Narendra Modi has not only talked but has also shown how plans are put to execution. Under his able leadership India is all set to be a digitally equipped nation.

Image credit: ET and FB