Perspectives

Digital India Is Mode-1-Ready!

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A lot has been achieved under the banner of Digital India, the impact of which is visible in the improving levels of inclusion, quality of living, ease of doing business, and efficient delivery of citizen services.

Yet, a lot remains to be done. The individual islands of digitization across domains of governance must converge together for creating a bigger systemic effect.

The big questions are – What Next? How to Take the Next Leap Forward?

We intend to start a meaningful and relevant discourse among the government leaders, technology providers, and citizen representatives around these questions. We wish to see a New India emerging on the back of Digital.

We invite thought leaders in the space to share their perspectives.

We are setting the ball rolling by presenting a three-post series as an analyst’s take on the subject.

The first post in the series argues for the fact that Digital India is Mode 1 ready.

Digital States of India – A Comparative Analysis, a research by Coeus Age Consulting, ranked all the 36 states and union territories on their respective digital performances. The ranking has been based upon their relative scores on two key parameters—policy and infrastructure readiness (PIR) and mission mode projects’ (MMP’s) performances.

While Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh have emerged as the top three digital states, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura and Sikkim also feature among the top 20 states. The report also identifies areas of strength and potential improvement for each state and UT.

The story gets even more interesting when we look at individual Mission Mode Program (MMP) specific rankings of the states and UTs. The study considered 14 state-specific MMPs for the research, with the prominent ones being eDistrict, Agriculture, PDS, Police, Treasury, Panchayati Raj, Municipality, Land Records, and Road Transport. The scoring on the 14 MMPs was done using a total of 103 key performance indicators that represented either the depth aspect (process maturity) or the breadth aspect (reach).

A clearly noticeable theme across the prominent MMPs is that the basic standards of inclusion, access, and service levels have been either already achieved or are well set in that direction.

The following examples should clarify this point further:

100% of ration cards are digitized across the states and UTs (PDS MMP).

100% of local governance directories are digitized across the states and UTs (Pachayati Raj MMP).

90% + police stations are connected with the CCTNS across the states and UTs (Police MMP).

80% + villages have computerized land records available (Land Records MMP).

All the 36 states and UTs are using an eGov application and 20 have adopted cloud-based service delivery (Road Transport MMP).

72% of the agriculture markets are covered under the AGMARKNET and 73% of soil health cards have been despatched as against the target (Agriculture MMP).

Supreme Court, High Courts and all the district and session courts are now linked to eCourts. It may take little more time for the core operations automation to happen, but the process has begun there as well (eCourt MMP).

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Our extensive research on identifying the 41 Gems of Digital India in 2017 and 51 Gems of Digital India in 2018 supports the same assertion for the central MMPs also. A turnaround in passport services through complete process transformation, automated functioning of the income tax department or streamlining of LPG supply with DBT are only a few examples. A very strong monitoring mechanism is being created across domains like agriculture, public distribution system, panchayati raj, rural development, and urban development. These are very crucial steps as without these, any worthwhile efforts toward digital-led governance may not produce the intended results.

The past few years of efforts by the central and state governments have achieved what we term as the Mode 1 of Digital India.

Mode 1 is about basic process automation, digitization of artefacts like ration cards, de-duplication of databases, seeding of the digital identity with Aadhaar, basic analytics or MIS and other similar hygiene aspects.

But is that enough? What are the future modes for Digital India? How to move towards the future modes? These are the questions that we shall address in the time to come.

In part two we shall discuss the need for ‘EXPANDING THE FOCUS AND REDEFINING METRICS’ as a precursor to the Next Leap Forward.

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