Various departments, including that of Information Technology, still continue to work manually and need a change in “mindset” before the government’s much-touted Digital India plan can yield benefits, tech entrepreneur Sam Pitroda said on Monday.
“There is nothing new in Digital India. The effort is the same that was going on earlier, all we are now doing is to build base on that,” said Pitroda, who served as the technology advisor to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
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“Today technology is very different, so the process should expedite. It has noting to do with political slogan. Foundation was laid a long time back. It takes time,” he told reporters here.
Pitroda was in Ahmedabad to deliver a speech on “Digital India and National Development,” organised by the Gujarat chapter of Institution of Engineers (India).
He said however that Digital India project, launched by Narendra Modi, will benefit the people.
Pitroda also stated that one should not forget the efforts that went into the digitisation process in the past when government started thinking about ways to improve government interaction with citizens.
“A lot of things went into making Digital India. An average person only realises that it has come only now,” he said in his speech, recounting how his efforts and support from the then government, led by Manmohan Singh, made it possible to build optical fiber network.
Pitroda was also advisor to Singh on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation.
“The digitisation process to improve governance through computers started almost 30 years ago globally, and in the course of time things have changed a lot,” he said. “The idea first was to use computer for government planning processes. As computer prices went down, the idea was to use network between government and citizens, rather than within the government,” he added.
Pitroda further said that while each government department wants digitisation, many continue to work manually.
“Even in this Digital India effort, every government department still uses manual system. Even the department of Information Technology does not use electronic system.
“They all want budget, computers, but does not want to change. If you really want to benefit from Digital India, you have to first change your mindset,” he said.