After much delay, BJP today finally released its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the first phase of polling started. Apart from tackling other issues like price rise, corruption and governance, BJP also included its plans to “nurture a Digital India” and promises to make every household and individual “digitally empowered.
BJP believes that IT is a great enabler for empowerment, equity and efficiency. The NDA Government had made IT one of the major thrust areas. With the result, India is the IT capital for the whole world. But back home, the benefits of IT have not percolated down. This will be a high priority area for BJP that IT touches the lives of ordinary men and women. BJP has been known for good Governance and e-Governance will become the backbone for good Governance. BJP aims to nurture a Digital India – making every household and every individual digitally empowered.
The manifesto promises bringing broadband to every village and engaging with people over social media channels both for participating in governance and also utilizing it for public grievance redressal.
It also talks about digitization of school study material and making all education institutions e-enabled in a phased manner as well as make technology enabled products affordable for students. The manifesto also talks about promoting Indian languages in IT under the e-Bhasha mission. There is also provision of digitizing all archives and museology.
These are the points BJP has highlighted in its Digital India promise in the manifesto.
- focus on increasing the penetration and usage of broadband across the country. Deployment of broadband in every village would be a thrust area.
- leverage technology for e-Governance and engage proactively with the people through social media for participative governance and effective public grievance redressal mechanism.
- generate IT based jobs in rural and semi-urban areas.
- make technology enabled products affordable for students
- use technology to reduce the burden of books on children. Make all institutions and schools e-enabled in a phased manner. Digital learning and training to be used extensively.
- pursue a mission mode project under the ‘National Rural Internet and Technology Mission’ for use of telemedicine and mobile healthcare for rural healthcare delivery; use of IT for agriculture for real time information; Self Help Groups; retail trade and SMEs; and rural entrepreneurs, etc.
- initiate a National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the centre to the panchayats. The ‘E-Gram, Vishwa Gram’ scheme in Gujarat to be implemented nationwide.
- promote e-Bhasha – National Mission for the promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
- focus to bring SC/ST, OBCs and other weaker sections of the society within the ambit of IT-enabled development.
- deploy IT to protect India’s priceless cultural and artistic heritage, which includes digitization of all archives and museology.
- promote ‘open source’ and ‘open standard’ software.
- mandate digitization of all government work to reduce corruption and delays.
- set up High-speed digital highways to unite the nation.
- use technology to reduce Transmission and distribution losses.
- use mobile and e-Banking to ensure financial inclusion.