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Technology at your service – Transforming lives and society

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology

 

Source: IE

Context: The digital revolution has transformed the lives of ordinary citizens, given the power to the poorest and marginalised, and offered the youth the ability to create.

 

Digital initiatives that have changed the lives of ordinary people:

Previously regarded as a privilege, technology access is being used to combat poverty and make life easier for more people.

Initiatives & MetricsExplanation
Digital IndiaMinimised the impact of disruption during the pandemic.

 

Internet penetrationIncreased from only 25 crore Indians (2014) to 84 crores in 2022.

 

Increased Affordability

→ leading to greater accessibility of services

 

 

The cost of 1GB of data has been reduced from about Rs 300 to Rs 13.5 per GB. This has increased accessibility to various services such as: –

 

Education, Teleconsultations (eSanjeevani app), Access to food supplies (One Nation One Ration Card framework), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS), Digital payments (UPI, QR codes), Reduced congestion and waiting time at the toll plazas (FASTag technology).

 

Best practice – CoWIN app – Example of democratising digital technology:

  • The entire process of onboarding vaccine manufacturers, clinics, hospitals, registration of citizens and scheduling, till the final certificate of vaccination, is digital.
  • This enabled India to administer 150 crore doses within the first 12 months of the vaccination drive.

 

What makes 2023 an inflexion point?

  • AI, 5G, and quantum technology have matured to a level where they are becoming mainstream.
  • India has assumed the leadership of the G20.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat.

 

A new initiative – OCEN (open credit enablement network):

  • The government is developing the OCEN, which will lead to competition among various banks for giving loans to a person → lower the cost of credit → propel the credit-to-GDP ratio from the current 57 to 100% by 2031.

 

Way ahead: This game-changing digital and tech-led revolution, which gives power to the poorest and marginalised sections is to be replicated across different sectors.

 

Conclusion:

India has entered its Amrit Kaal in times of global uncertainty. In this scenario, India’s G20 Presidency will be pathbreaking, serving and sharing India’s scalable public digital infrastructure with the world.

 

Insta Links:

The Digital India Transformation

 

Mains Links:

How is science interwoven deeply with our lives? What are the striking changes in agriculture triggered off by science-based technologies? (UPSC 2020)