Democracy is the government, Of The People, By The People and For The People. For democracy to be more effective it is important that people are educated enough to elect the government and also to understand it's functioning. It is also important to communicate with the elected representatives on the needs of the people.
Digitization helps in both the processes - Providing equal access to education and communication.
Democracy cannot be successful in a country where only a few have access to quality education. With digitization, we can make sure that all students in the country are given access to same quality of education. This can be done by recording video lectures by eminent persons in all the subjects and making them available in all the government schools. With doubt clearing sessions through video conferencing, e-books, along with conventional classroom teaching, it can go a long way in ensuring equal education and thereby equal opportunities, which is the core value of democracy.
Digitization also ensures that the public goods and services are reaching people effectively. Whether it is banking, railways or even Public distribution system, it makes their delivery faster and easier to keep track with. Unlike the times when the people had to visit the government offices multiple times to get their work done, people can now do almost everything online, to apply for a PAN card, passport and to book a railway ticket or pay bills they no longer need to stand in long queues. There is also an online grievance system for almost every service and therefore people's problems are now better attended because everything is now recorded and tracked. We have even seen People directly tweet the grievance to the concerned minister and getting it resolved. So with this another value of democracy, service for the people is effectively implemented.
People's role in a democracy should not just end with electing the government, the scope should widen including keeping track of the policies, opposing the government for wrong policies or may be even suggest appropriate policy changes. With digitization, this is in fact happening, not just the elite or NGO's but a common person is now able to do all this. People now don't need to assemble in a place to show the opposition, they can do it through various means like they have done with net neutrality. The show of strength in the virtual world made the government to reframe policy. Also the government itself is actively encouraging people to share their ideas through platforms like mygov.in. A common person was invited to discuss on education policy by the HRD minister after his various posts on twitter regarding it. So digitization is ensuring that the Indian democracy is actually the government of the people run by the people.
In this way, by ensuring good quality of education for all, digitization ensures that the government is chosen by the people with proper knowledge without being influenced by the rhetoric and gifts during elections. By ensuring the faster and long range delivery of goods and services, digitization ensures that people are served appropriately. Digitization ensures a more participative democracy with every citizen being able to play a role in the government.
Digitization is truly strengthening Indian democracy and widening its scope to a new level.
- Sai Deepthi