Monday, September 28, 2015

Digital India

I am doubt and I say plenty when talking, but I rarely pen them down because as a scientist I feel that I need references for all my opinions. But this is my blog and I can write what I want. Most of it will be my opinion, but hopefully they will be the thoughts of others also.

I have been noticing that a number of Facebook friends, mostly Indian, are changing their photo to support "Digital India". The photo is their photo superimposed on an Indian flag. This is the brainchild of Zuckerberg, no doubt. I don't want to change my photo to support "Digital India" by just pictures.

Digital India is a great idea - lay more network fiber, make government services more "e" - electronic. Here is the link of the most basics about the program if anyone wants to read more - Digital India.

But my question is this - one can change the computer, the speed of the computer but how does one change the "attitude" of the user? One of the biggest problems I find in India in the offices have not much to do with computers; it has to do with human beings. They are not interested in helping anyone. And once all this information is available to these employees, how will they use it or really misuse it.

Once all the infrastructure has to be built then who gets the contracts? I can foresee more corruption in these areas.  And its highly likely that to lay down the fiber network, roads may be broken or dug out. This can lead to more problems. I have visited the great city of Gurgaon, supposed to be all very high tech and modern. The buildings were no doubt beautiful, but one only had to look at the road and see the pot holes in it. And since I was there in the rainy season, I saw roads that looked like swimming pools. How can we not fix those first?

And power? Where is all the electricity going to come from? I know India is trying to get technology from US to build nuclear plants - but that is not the best source of energy. The common man still suffers from terrible power outages.

And water? There is so much shortage of water. Why can't we have water before we can have internet?

I know it is important to have connectivity to the world, it is good to have e-services, but it is also good to have clean water, clean air, fresh vegetables and fruits, literacy for everyone.  Maybe I am thinking this too simplistically. The Delhi International airport is amazing; banking has become convenient; ATMs are everywhere; booking tickets online for railway, airway is becoming common place. It's not that we have not progressed.

But there is so much to do - clean India would be a great thing! Teach everyone how to use a toilet would be nice; have the cities safe so a girl can walk alone would be great!!