Soft Talent to Power Progress: Finally it would dawn on India as a state policy to push digitization of India. It is a long overdue effort considering that for many years India and its soft talent has been reckoned as global power house. Yet the country itself could never leverage its own talent to efficiently manage its affairs.
“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash”
Since much of the reason for India excelling in digital domain was largely due to private individual and corporate efforts. Now with the same becoming state sponsored effort this will indeed result in all encompassing transformation of the entire nation to the benefit of its citizen.
Ambitious Project: The 10, 00,000 Million Rupees Digital India Project ambitiously aims at
- establishing broadband connectivity in 250,000 villages of India,
- promote e-governance,
- universal phone connectivity and
- make India global leader of IT in services like health, education and banking
- transform India into a connected knowledge economy
Digital India is much needed, so is Digital Waste Redressal
The enormity of the project, the ambitious coverage and the wide and deep ramifications it would have through all its nine pillars and especially electronics Manufacturing, Universal Access to devices for ICT would include creation of huge digital infrastructure.
There will be Wi-Fi at schools, universities and public wi-fi hotspots. The Post Offices to be turned into Multi-Service Centres with all gadgetry installed. Manufacturing of FABS, Fab-less design, Set top boxes, VSATs, Mobiles, Consumer & Medical Electronics, Smart Energy meters, Smart cards, micro-ATMs. The aim of the project is to deliver government services to the citizens directly. The government also wants to ensure smart phones in the hand of every citizen by 2019.
The Digital Waste Challenge: The Digital India Project document does inform about the challenges on the implementation of such a large project in terms of unprecedented scale; Human & Financial resource mobilization apart from the intra government coordination. However, it misses out on the fallout of the electronic mess that would be created in the years to come.
E Waste from Electronic Obsolescence: It is a well known fact the obsolescence of Electronics is the quickest. It is not difficult to understand what sort of E Waste would be generated from projects of such proportions and sweeping geographical coverage.
Though there has been a passing reference on the linking of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but that too to create awareness and support for the ongoing governmental activities for participation and disposal of municipal waste.
We certainly hope the authorities would take into account the e waste challenge that fall out of digitalizing India. It needs to be highlighted and understood before the problem just stomp us in the face with our efforts falling short. That would be one of the grave failures of such a glorious project. A comprehensive view is much warranted for Digitizing India.
Note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.