Kerala declared the first digital state in India
Kerala has been making several impressive advancements and implementing certain e-governance initiatives. According to chief minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala has achieved 100% mobile density, 75% e-literacy; it also has the highest digital banking rate and broadband connection even to the panchayat level. On Independence Day, Chandy also declared Kerala as a complete digital state, the first in India.
Modi launched the Digital India initiative at a public event on 1st July. The aim of the program is to make all citizens digitally literate and make internet and e-governance available to everyone, without discrimination. His dream is to achieve an India which is digitally connected, which will make governance transparent and drive innovation. Digital India aims to create an IT-enabled and literate society.
The aims of Digital India are encompassed in nine Pillars. It will provide digital highways, IT for jobs, and universal access to phones, apart from e-governance reforming of government through technology- and an initiative called e-Kranti electronic delivery of services. The other areas of focus are the Information for all initiative, the Public Internet Access and Early Harvest Programmes and zero imports of electronics.
Modi's Digital India initiative has pulled in a lot of funding. He said that Digital India has attracted investments of Rs.4.5 lakh crore; it will also create 18 lakh jobs. Mukesh Ambani declared that Reliance Jio Infocomm will be investing Rs.2,50,000 crore as part of the Digital India programme. The company also planned to help out by providing a well-worked out internet network.
The Digital India programme will also be instituting an e-Hospital system that will attempt to provide important healthcare services such as fee payment, fixing doctors' appointments and checking blood availability online.
Digital Kerala was possible through the implementation of e-programmes in all districts and the linking of Aadhaar and bank accounts. The next steps of Digital Kerala will be to set up wi-fi hotspots in local self-government institutions, implement complete mobile governance, and achieve digital literacy-phase-II. The Kerala government will make use of India's Bharat Net project, which will provide the infrastructure to provide connectivity.
Over the last few years, Kerala has been taking various initiatives to help in the Digital Kerala project. They instituted Virtual IT Cadre, which is an in-house body will be able to deal with e-governance issues, thus reducing dependence on external agencies. More than 75 government officials were also required to take a PG Diploma course on e-governance conducted by IIT-Kerala and IMG.
Kerala becoming the first to achieve digital literacy is not its only achievement. According to the 2011 census, it had the highest literacy rate in India, with 93.91%.