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How digitization is strengthening Indian Democracy?

Democracy is a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly and indirectly through a system of representation. Digitization is integration of digital technologies into everyday life by digitization of information. It means storage in computing machines, electronic devices etc. So that it can be readily transmitted and retrieved. Hence strengthening Indian democracy.

Digitization has brought about a deep revolution in the country and across the globe as well. Planning is an important feature of any democracy. Provisions like the Aadhaar card which provides each citizen with a unique Identification number in a digitalized form. Therefore, making the working and planning of the govt. easier and convenient.

In today's day and age we can file tax returns, pay water bills, electricity bills are all easy and manageable at the click of a button through ICT and digitization. We can use large data, difficult to store in our computers and laptops.

1) E- Governance and Judiciary

Right to Information is an act of the Parliament of India "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens". It is a fundamental right of the citizens of India and helps in tracking useful information. Similarly Crime and crime tracking network systems are also available which help in booking criminals and helps in their trial. Digitization helps majorly in dispensing off cases quickly and in providing Justice by the Judiciary which is an important pillar of democracy. Also there are CCTV cameras for mitigating Crime in the country.

2) Health and Welfare

Health is the responsibility of the government. In the health sector with the help of digitization people can check for availability of doctors, medicines and register for the same online. For e.g. In the case of AIMS hospital similar service is provided by TCS. So now people do not have to wait in long queues for hours for their turn and hence it makes it easier for the govt. to achieve its aim. Also there are various initiatives by the govt. to provide affordable, accessible medicare at low costs for the people from all walks of life. There are schemes like life insurance scheme, general scheme which are available online like IRDA, NRHM (for weaker sections etc.). There are medical researches which are carried out online as a means to develop cures and treatment.

3) Education and Digitization

Even in the sector of education digitization has not failed to have an impact such as in the case of administration of hostels, delivering scholarships etc.

It is the state's role to educate its citizens. Soon after Independence, when the constitution was being formed the problem of the role of government of India in education came up for discussion. Right to education is now a part of Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. It states that children from the age of 6 to 14 must be educated by the state. India is one of 135 countries to make it a fundamental right.

It has great value in the modern, complex and industrialized society. Education is the reason for literacy. Literacy is the product of education. Digitization fosters education in the sense that it allows large quantity of information and books to be readily available on the internet. It fosters a participant democracy. It leads to effective and informed voting.

Digitization makes media also very powerful and reachable to the common masses. Today all the information, reports, journals are all available online. Which intern makes people aware about the govt. functioning and happenings. Thereby strengthening democracy. However there are certain shortcomings as well which need to be overcome.

Digitization can have an unequivocal impact only when the whole structure of ICT is Affordable, accessible and readily available. Citizens must have access to all the information and it should be feasible and affordable. Keeping in mind the Per Capita Income the govt. must take up the plan to convert lengthy records into digitalized plan. As Amartya Sen said the state's focus should be on 'capability approach' as against 'commodity approach' which is largely possible through digitization.

- Dipti Sinha

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