High-speed internet to be ‘core utility’ as Digital India gets Cabinet nod: Business Standard Each Indian citizen will also get a unique ‘cradle to grave’ digital identity The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a blueprint for the Digital India programme, which envisages all government services be delivered electronically by 2018. It also seeks to provide unique identities to all citizens.

The programme aims to “bring public accountability through mandated delivery of government services electronically” and provide a “unique ID and e-Pramaan, based on authentic and standards-based interoperable and integrated government applications and data bases”.

Digital India would provide “high-speed internet as a core utility” down to the Gram Panchayat level and a “cradle-to-grave digital identity — unique, lifelong, online and authenticable”, said an official statement, adding the unique IDs would facilitate identification, authentication and delivery of benefits.

The statement steered clear of mentioning Aadhaar. It is felt if the government plans to use the services of the Unique Identification Authority of India, which has already registered about 660 million Indian residents, it will provide a major boost to the project.

It is envisioned through Digital India, mobile phones and bank accounts will aid digital and financial participation. The government has said the project, to be implemented in a phased manner during 2014-2018, will seamlessly integrate government services across departments to provide single-window access to all and ensure these are available real-time, across the online and mobile platforms. To make it easier for companies to do business in the country, government services will be digitally transformed.

The initiative will make financial transactions above a threshold electronic and cashless. Posts of chief information officers will be created in at least 10 key ministries so that e-governance projects can be designed, developed and implemented faster.

The government release added the Digital India would prepare India for a knowledge future and “to realise IT (Indian talent) + IT (information technology) = IT (India tomorrow)”.