Governance Now Masterminds

Stories to read over the weekend

We replug a list of five stories and interviews from our magazine and website that you must read over the weekend.

GN Bureau | March 11, 2017


#polls 2017   #Narendra Modi   #Digital India   #weekend stories. egov   #defence procurement  
Weekend stories
Weekend stories


Bharatiya Janata Party’s spectacular show in the elections 2017 – especially, the victory in Uttar Pradesh, has put a stamp of invincibility on prime minister Narendra Modi’s persona, as the outcome is no short of a midterm appraisal of his policies including demonetisation, which seemed to have affected the common people.
 
 
The telecom policy 2012, I think, is a document with a vague end. I think time would come when all of us will have broadband. We are looking into a specific project and scheme to make it happen... I will not put a date to [broadband]. It is not possible because these things accelerate. By September 2018, we will have broadband in every village in the country, with Wi-Fi for the last mile, says JS Deepak, former secretary, department of telecommunications. 
 
One of the three areas on which the vision of Digital India is centred is ‘digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen’. A key component under this vision is high-speed internet as a core utility to facilitate online delivery of various services. Therefore, for Digital India to succeed, ubiquitous, reliable and affordable internet is a prerequisite. In order to expand internet access, the government has taken several initiatives to improve the digital infrastructure in the country, which are in various stages of implementation. We, at TRAI, feel that Wi-Fi coverage, especially in the rural areas, is necessary for the success of Digital India. We are likely to give our recommendation to the government on the proliferation of Wi-Fi in the country, says TRAI chief RS Sharma.
 
 
Today more than 112 crore people have the Aadhaar card. Approximately 40 crore people have linked their Aadhaar numbers to their bank accounts. We already have a system of Aadhaar authentication in place. To promote cashless economy, we have to consider all different segments of people. We have people who are well educated; they can use all digital channels like smartphones, apps, internet, debit cards, credit cards, etc and make payments. But what about those people who don’t have access to smartphones, or say, a feature phone, those who cannot handle debit card PIN or password? There are 30 crore people like them and these people mostly belong to the disadvantaged sections of society, says AB Pandey, CEO, UIDAI.
 
 
Over the past three years, there has been a marked focus on implementing defence procurement reforms. Many are of the opinion that India’s focus on defence procurement reforms is unique. However, this is not true. India’s focus on defence procurement reforms reflect a worldwide trend. The US, UK, Australia and China are pursuing and implementing procurement reforms. India has a long road ahead if it truly wants to catch up with them in this regard. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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