1. Why blame Indian government Digital India program, see how backward US administration is in terms of technology

Why blame Indian government Digital India program, see how backward US administration is in terms of technology

While there has been a lot of criticism regarding the implementation of Modi government's 'Digital India' policy, we must also look at how even developed countries lack in technology in certain areas.

By: | Updated: June 20, 2017 12:15 PM
US government floppy, Jared kushner, Donald Trump Narendra Modi, Modi US visit, Digital India, PM Modi digital India, technology, US technology, India technology, tech news, jared kushner speech, US government outdated technology, Digital India success, trump India, donald trump India Why blame India’s technological advancements? Donald Trump Administration still uses floppy discs. (Reuters/PTI file)

PM Narendra Modi will go on a highly anticipated journey to the United States of America by June end for his first meeting with the US President Donald Trump. Modi had scaled new heights in terms of politics and diplomacy when he last visited the country in 2016. But Trump is an unpredictable man and this visit could turn out to be quite as unpredictable. Trump is known for his ‘America First’ approach, that has put many countries on its toes, India knows that his policies contradict some of Modi government’s initiatives. Meanwhile, the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme has to overcome steep challenges before it can claim success if it has to compete with developed countries. While there has been a lot of criticism regarding the implementation of the policy, we must also look at how even developed countries lack in technology in certain areas. Presidential advisor Jared Kushner on Monday said that the US government is still using floppy disks and checking for Y2K compliance. He added that the private sector’s creativity will help move the Trump administration past the turn of the century.

Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, helps lead the White House Office of American Innovation. He met with major tech executives on June 19. He said that work is still going on the regarding the elimination of outdated, unsustainable policies and systems that are as much as 56 years old and have held back departments. He most interestingly offered a stunning outline of the federal government’s recidivistic tech tendencies, by saying that the US Department of Defense still uses 8-inch floppy disks, a stored media technology retired by most businesses back in the early 1980s. Even in India, which was fairly late in adopting major technological changes stopped using that device in the early 2000’s. The 8inch floppies were first replaced by smaller 5.25-inch floppies and then 3.5-inch media, and eventually CD-ROMs. After the pen drive and hard disc revolution, people now use Cloud storage in most organisations all over the world. But not the US government. Kushner in his speech said a lot of baffling things, like the use of antiquated media in operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces, use of COBOL in several sectors, which is a programming language from the 1950s and 60s.

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Meanwhile, India still ranks low on the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), a key component of the World Economic Forum’s The Global Information Technology Report. However, Digital India’s Rs.1.3 trillion programme, which envisages a plethora of e-governance services across sectors like healthcare, education and banking, and promises to introduce transparency in the system, reduce corruption and achieve inclusive growth, was only given the green light in 2015. The NDA government is making efforts in using technologies like mobility, analytics, cloud and the Internet of Things to implement the Digital India programme that connects with its other initiatives like Smart Cities and Make in India.

One can indeed see tangibles like the government’s Digital Locker that allows you to store important files and lets you authenticate them online with your Aadhaar number, e-bastas, and the linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts and PAN cards. It’s also true that these e-services ride on a robust GI Cloud, also known as Meghraj, and that over 1,700 government departments and agencies across the country already use the mobile platform, Mobile Seva.

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While one should accept that a deep divide persists between well-connected metropolitan hubs and remote rural areas, where even the most basic infrastructure is insufficient and many parts of our country lack basic electricity to power Digital India. But, with more investments planned in terms of manpower, technological upgrades, skill development, and digital literacy, we can surely remain positive about our position in the technological world in the future.

  1. J
    Jay
    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:39 pm
    Modi ji has passed several AGNIPARIKSHAS right from the Terrorist demons burning our Sabarmati express at Godhra (2002), to his courageous innovative innovations like Demonetization, Digital India, GST, Solar Energy, Make in India,WIFI INDIA, F16 INDIA etc which have taken our nation from the previous Divide Loot Raj to into cyber sphere n just three years and made our nation A SHINING STAR, GARVI BHARAT. JAY HO MODI TRUMP
    Reply
    1. S
      Sadasivan
      Jun 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm
      This is an absurd argument.If a person is foolish,should Indians ,be content,imitating him and quoting the Headline? The F16 agreement is also one such dia should not buy 1981 vintage F 16.F22 is of 19997 vintage,though it has stealth capability. India should be wise and should not imitate FOOLs. That said,the USA is technologically highly advanced dia should think in terms of progress and use relevant ideas.It should not satisfy itself with the foolish acts of a few.BTW,Digital India ,will, make India susceptible to wealth and data loss,as many other nations are more advanced than India,in IT.
      Reply
      1. G
        Gcm
        Jun 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm
        This is security.... I like it...
        Reply
        1. J
          Jayesh
          Jun 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm
          In India OTP comes on mobile, in Italy it still comes on RSA token the practice almost stopped in India. Having said that we can not boast of being technologically ahead for following reasons - 1. Internet coverage still is very poor. Good news is players like Jio have accelerated the coverage. 2. Digitally literate: we like it or not sizable population is still off any digital device. In short user coverage is a daunting task. 3. Investment by India Inc. a lot of investment in India is focused on exports or govt contracts. There are very few like Patanjali and Reliance who are investing on Indian demand. This is very critical for us to be a developed country.
          Reply

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