In the 1980s, Rajasthan was labelled as an ailing state for its poor show on the economic and social indicators. Technology has developed and come a long way since the eighties and so has Rajasthan. The state, with a population over 6.86 Cr. (Census 2011), is presently one of the leading agents of the digital change in India.
Rajasthan has always been a state that is synonymous with royalty, heritage, and the famous engineering and IAS coaching centers. At present, the state is making rapid strides towards undergoing a digital transformation across the all sectors of its society. On one side, Rajasthan is the name that comes up as a hub for startups in the nation and on the other side, it is bringing digital India to where it really matters, for women empowerment and employment of local youth. According to the top IASofficers, the many initiative taken by the government are the reasons why Rajasthan is leading in the digital sector of India today. Let’s delve a bit deeper to look into top four of such reasons.
- Microsoft’s partnership with Rajasthan Government on digital literacy
Microsoft India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Rajasthan for improvement of the integration of technology in teaching and skills of educators and students in the government colleges. Microsoft is all set to train students and faculty members from fifty colleges of the state for four months as part of the agreement with the Department of College Education of Rajasthan. Microsoft India will award certificates to the students after they successfully complete the course. As time progresses, more number of students will be brought into the folds of this digital education initiative.
Under the Microsoft Innovative Educator Program, professors of government colleges will be trained for improving their capacity of using ICT(information and communication tech) in their classrooms.Microsoft Educator Network will provide free software, tools, and resources to enable the educators to take part in global discussions and teaching sessions.
- The initiatives to introduce e-governance in the state
The first steps towards e-governance in Rajasthan was through computerizing government offices. Later came the payment of utility bills through Lok-mitra centers at local levels and many other related fragmented activities. All of the fragmented activities have currently been unified into a common strategy and vision under the framework of Rajasthan e-governance. The government has had to successfully meet three important challenges in bringing forth e-governance, access to and investments in ICT, building of enough capacity to enable the utilization of e-governance services, and ensuring people’s enthusiastic participation in this e-democracy.
The aim of e-governance policies in the state is to lay the foundation of transparent and participatory citizen-centric facilities. It also has the goal of creating seven Smart Cities in Rajasthan by the year 2020. According to IASofficers, Rajasthan hopes to be positioned as the Best IT investment hub with Jaipur as its R&D hub in western and northern India.
- The immense success of the e-sakhi and e-mitra schemes
E-sakhi is one of the multiple women-related schemes that the government has brought forth. The digital literacy program of e-sakhi is initiated by the Department of Information Technology and Communication (DoITC) of the Government of Rajasthan. The aim is to make every women of the state digitally literate. The state aims to make young women in the age of 20 to 35 years act as beacons showing the path to a digital Rajasthan.
E-mitra is a part of the e-governance scheme of the state. It is being implemented in 33 districts to enable the availing of different services of the private and government sectors under one roof at the doorsteps using the e-platform. The e-mitra kiosks have been set up in both rural and urban areas along with the online support from the official website.
- The first Direct Benefit Transfer program of the nation
The BhamashahYojna was introduced with a vision for good governance. It is committed towards the transfer of non-financial and financial benefits of the government schemes to the recipients directly in the most transparent way. The scheme was launched long back in the year 2008 and it stopped for about five years. Itspotential for success made the government revamp and re-launch it in 2014.
When it was launched, BhamashahYojna was the first Direct Benefit Transfer initiative in the nation. The social security schemes of Rajasthan are enabled digitally through theBhamashah cards that use the Aadhar card database.
The rapid progression of Rajasthan has firmly cemented its name as one of the top five digitally leading states of India. However, its saga of development and growth has just started and it still has a long way to go.