Home / Politics / Policy /  Narendra Modi to launch Digital India week on 1 July

New Delhi: In order to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy, the Union government will formally launch the Digital India Week on 1 July in an event inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will be attended by a number of prominent industry leaders from across the world, minister of communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad announced on Saturday.

“We have approached and received confirmed attendance from a number of industry leaders, including Cyrus Mistry, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Pawan Munjal, Sunil Mittal, Kumar Manglam Birla, Anil Agarwal, Anil Ambani, among others, for the mission’s launch at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium. Around 10,000 people are expected to be present at the launch," Prasad said.

“As per estimates are concerned, we expect billions of dollars investment (in Digital India week)," Prasad told reports here while announcing details of the event.

The Digital India initiative is an umbrella programme designed to integrate government departments and the services they provide to citizens across the country using the Internet. The initiative also includes a plan to connect rural India with high-speed Internet networks.

As part of the initiative, the government is not only creating products to make the delivery of government services easier but also plans to build the architecture to connect the country using optical fibre.

The products include a digital locker system for storage and sharing of important documents such as property deeds and other certificates, platform to engage with citizens and disseminate important government services related information, e-sign framework allowing for online document authentication using Aadhaar number, e-hospitals and a national scholarship portal.

On the infrastructure side, the government is building the BharatNet (formerly called the National Optical Fibre Network) that aims to connect 250,000 gram panchayats with high-speed optical fibre-based Internet access.

State run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is currently replacing the 30-year old equipment at as many as 400 exchanges across the country, with NGN (Next Generation Networks) to improve delivery of IP-based services. The telco is also building WiFi hotspots across the country.

Last year, the government had approved the programme comprising various projects worth more than 1 trillion to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.

Under the Digital India initiative, the government is implementing a number of policy changes. These include open software adoption, BPO policy (to create BPOs in smaller towns), electronic development fund to promote creation of intellectual property in india; among others.

The government has targeted the Digital India initiative to reach its full impact by 2019.

PTI contributed to this story.

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