Digital India can be a huge fillip for healthcare and education

Digital India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India project, which aims to offer a one-stop shop for government services, would use the mobile phone as the backbone of its delivery mechanism. Five hundred million people will come together on the Internet. This has never happened before anywhere in the world.

Healthcare and education

The project will connect India, bringing in education and healthcare to the villages. While one can't make thousands of medical specialists or schoolteachers available to the remotest corners of the country, one can make their services available through broadband at multi-service centres in every village. That, in essence, is the vision of the Digital India initiative.

Despite making right to education a fundamental right, India struggles to fill its schools with teachers across the hinterland, leading to poor quality of education and innumerable dropouts. Digital India will deliver world-class education to children through massive online open courses.

e-education

As the name suggests, the programme aims to provide hi-tech education using state-of-the-art technology to all, including those in far-flung areas where teachers may not be present in person. Education can be imparted through virtual means as part of the programme.

  • All schools connected with broadband
  • Free Wi-Fi in all schools
  • Digital literacy programme
  • Development of pilot massive online courses

e-healthcare

Healthcare in our country has multiple pain points, and structural opacity and lack of knowledge with the consumer have led to a situation where the consumer is willy-nilly (mis)led by multiple intermediaries. e-healthcare aims to provide timely, effective and economical healthcare services to all, especially those with scant access.This service will be linked to Aadhaar numbers and will make getting lab reports and OPD appointments easier.The programme also looks to help people maintain health records in a cost-effective manner.

  • Online medical consultation
  • Online medical records
  • Online medicine supply
  • Pan-India exchange for patient information
  • Pilots in 2015 and full coverage in three years

e-health and e-education have the capability to change the face of our country. One of the biggest advantages is enabling people-centred, coordinated services with ease of access. Further, the Digital India programme will open up huge opportunities in health and education for rural areas, creating a large number of jobs.

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-The writer is Founder Director, Smart Cities Council India 

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