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Analysis of Kurukshetra Magazine: Impact of Digital Transformation on Livelihood Generation

Introduction

  • India really started digitalising as a whole only after the trailblazing Digital India Campaign that took the country by storm post-2015.
  • The digital empowerment that followed ranged from improving India’s services industry to moulding a robust manufacturing sector, and to reviving India’s glorious agriculture sector.
  • The digital transformation that India is in the midst of is marked by inclusivity rather than the exclusive use of the latest technology by those on top and empowering people to create employment rather than seeking it.
  • Contrary to the popular notion of technology taking over human jobs, campaigns such as Digital India and ‘Vocal for local’ have not only generated new jobs but also created facilitator employment in the country and this is an impact of the digital transformation itself.

About Digital India Mission

  • The ambitious programme was launched on July 1, 2015, by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and has till date turned out to be one of the biggest success stories of New India — enabling services, bringing Government closer to citizens, promoting citizen engagement and empowering people.
  • It is a flagship initiative that was launched with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy

How Digital India Impacted the Life and Livelihood?

  • The Digital India journey in the past 6 years has centred around empowerment, inclusion, digital transformation.
  • It has positively impacted all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens identity management through Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer, Common Services Centres, DigiLocker, mobile-based UMANG services, participatory governance through MyGov, Jeevan Pramaan, to UPI, Ayushman Bharat, e-Hospital, PM-Kisan, e-NAM, Soil Health Cards, SWAYAM, SWAYAM PRABHA, National Scholarship Portal, e-Pathshala, and so on.
  • Digital India’s initiatives have also played a pivotal role during the CoVID-19 situation, such as Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and Social media platforms etc.

Digital India Program impacted the economy largely and so the livelihoods

  • One of the most promising outcomes of India’s digital transformation experiment is its role in catalysing the energies and in meeting the aspirations of India’s youth.
  • The digital transformation that India is in the midst of is marked by inclusivity rather than the exclusive use of the latest technology by those on top and empowering people to create employment rather than seeking it.
  • The Startup India campaign that came out post-Digital India Campaign has probably been the biggest beneficiary of the latter.
  • Apart from the iconic start-ups that have metamorphosed into unicorns, thousands of technology enterprises and BPOs are sprouting across small-town and rural India, with the government’s Citizen’s Service Centres [CSCs] providing employment to a million small entrepreneurs, as well as access to information and services to millions.
  • The eNAM, powered by mass digitisation has enhanced farm employment by providing better compensation to the people employed in this sector.
  • Agriculture technology has enabled the private players to enter the agriculture sector with many startups coming out of solely the modernisation process of agriculture.

Role of Digital India in generating Employment during Pandemic

  • If business continued to happen during the pandemic and in turn, employment loss was revived only because of the digitisation that saw immense success by the close of the previous decade.
  • With almost all businesses adopting the work-from-home model during the pandemic, the pandemic showed how digitalisation first created employment and then facilitated it by enabling lakhs and crores of people to make their home their workplace when the novel coronavirus threatened to paralyse the economy that lj6th of the world depends on directly, and even more indirectly.
  • Not just this, but it was the widespread availability of broadband throughout the country that led to the creation of hundreds of new businesses right in the midst of the pandemic to address the new needs that emerged out of the new normal.
  • Digitalisation in this way helped India’s workers to grab opportunities in real-time and innovate to create more opportunities.

Way Forward

  • Digital India Campaign itself has generated employment in form of people employed in the execution of its various schemes.
  • From Common Service Centers to Aadhaar technicians, Digital India Campaign, in its massiveness, has created facilitator employment in the country and this also has to be an impact of the digital transformation itself.
  • Concluding on a forward-looking note, the latest impact that digitisation has had on employment is the numerous young entrepreneurs, often as young as teenagers, owning small businesses that run primarily on social media.
  • Many of these businesses emerged out of the pandemic and are providing first income to many young Indians who are yet to join the job market formally.
  • Many of these small businesses have the potential of becoming the primary livelihood of incoming workers of the country, reducing stress on existing employment channels and potentially creating new channels in the economy.

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