Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
HomeReport‘New India’ not possible without rural digitisation: Experts at PHDCCI conclave

‘New India’ not possible without rural digitisation: Experts at PHDCCI conclave

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Government officials and experts agree that technology must help rural people come into the digital mainstream, draft report for govt.

New Delhi: The success of a new and efficient India hinges on the inclusion of rural areas into a digital framework — that was the general consensus among government officials and experts at a conclave organised to discuss how digital mobility can be given a boost to push ‘Digital India’ and make the benefits of technology accessible to all sections of society.

The conclave — ‘India Goes Digital — Mobility Solutions for Centre & States’ — organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI),  stressed the  importance of digital mobility for e-governance to reach everyone.

The problem of rural integration

People living in rural areas often find themselves isolated as certain government processes are not always accessible to them, especially financial services, speakers at the conclave, including top government officers from the Centre and states, said.

“The ultimate aim of digital mobility is that government services should be available anytime, anywhere,” said Dr D.K. Tiwari, principal resident commissioner of the Jharkhand government.

George Mathew, founder and chairman of the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, added: “There needs to be an instrumentality to reach rural people, and that instrument is the local government. We have to look at emerging India from below.”

Fingerprint readers for farmers with worn and calloused hands, screens that can be read in the sunlight, and thermal printers to get instant receipts after transactions were some of the products that were pitched as technology to help rural people. Also, ideas were exchanged on how areas like healthcare and education should receive greater focus, and how processes like digital voting can be improved.

Sanjay Bhargava, founder of investment advisor Bharosa Club and founding employee of PayPal, said one solution for the distribution of financial products was to have a virtual ‘kirana’ store, which would allow the average Indian to access all products easily and in the same place.

The bureaucrats on the panel talked about how government processes can be made much more efficient with the use of technology, which can lead to faster development of the country. “The government shouldn’t need to ask for reports,” said Tiwari. “The successful implementation of digital technology should lead to information which can be accessed in real time.”

Towards a New India

The conclave was held just eight days before the first anniversary of demonetisation, which was a major push by the government towards having a digitised India. Rajeev Talwar, senior vice-president of the PHDCCI, said: “If we have to achieve progress, it would be by having a digital India,” recognising Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’ by 2022.

The white papers produced by Tuesday’s event will be submitted to the NITI Aayog and the government of India.

ThePrint was the official media partner for the PHDCCI’s ‘India Goes Digital — Mobility Solutions for Centre & States’ conclave.

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