New Delhi: The government has approved an extension of the Digital India project, valued at over Rs 14,900 crore, spanning five years from 2021-2022 onwards. This continuation builds upon the groundwork laid by the preceding iteration of the initiative. As part of this programme, approximately 5.25 lakh information and technology (IT) professionals are slated for re-skilling and up-skilling, while another 2.65 lakh individuals will undergo IT training within the country.
This development arrives amidst a context where the Digital India Programme faced a reduction in the budget estimate for the ongoing fiscal year (Budget 2023-24) in comparison to the revised estimate of the previous year (2022-23). Whereas the revised estimate for Digital India in 2022-23 stood at Rs 7,603 crore, the budget allocation was scaled down to Rs 4,795 crore in the most recent budgetary proposal.
After the Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw unveiled the scheme's extension. He outlined that the Union Cabinet's endorsement encompassed an outlay of Rs 14,903 crore, covering a five-year span from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026. Vaishnaw highlighted, "The extended project will build upon the groundwork established by the previous version of the scheme. The initiative will focus on reskilling and upskilling 5.25 lakh IT professionals, in addition to training 2.65 lakh individuals in the field of IT."
Vaishnaw further elaborated, "As part of this extended project, the National Supercomputing Mission (NCM) will welcome the inclusion of nine more supercomputers, supplementing the existing deployment of 18 supercomputers under NCM. Substantial progress has already been made in this area. The extension of the scheme is a result of our efforts to refine and enhance existing schemes, ensuring their alignment with contemporary requirements."
This extension reinforces the government's commitment to the Digital India initiative, which aims to promote technological advancement and digital literacy across the nation.