Dec 30: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, conferred Digital India Awards 2020 via video conferencing in a virtual awards ceremony with participation from multiple locations including Rashtrapati Bhawan & Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi along with four other locations – Bhopal, Chennai, Kolkata and Patna. The awards ceremony was graced by the presence of Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary (MeitY), Ms. Jyoti Arora, Special Secretary & Financial Adviser (MeitY), Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary (MeitY), Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General National Informatics Centre (NIC) and other Government officers from various Central, State & District offices.
The President in his speech congratulated all the 24 winning teams and appreciated the role of officials and technical teams at various levels for ensuring continuity of Government services and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic; and for enriching the country with unique technology Innovations in public service delivery. He said that the Digital India Awards reflect the overall vision of the government to empower citizens to achieve their aspirations and make India a digital superpower. He mentioned, “It will not be an overstatement to say that the Coronavirus has changed the world in terms of social relations, economic activities, health care, education and several other aspects of life. India was not only prepared to minimise the adverse impact of mobility-restrictions, but also utilized the crisis as an opportunity to march ahead in various arenas. It was possible only because the digital infrastructure has been strengthened in recent years. “
He further said that technological advances are often termed as ‘disruptions’, but this year they helped us overcome the big disruption to a great extent. For the government too, information technology was one of the most crucial tools to deliver a variety of services to citizens and keep the wheels of the economy turning. Due to proactive digital interventions, we have been able to ensure operational continuity of important government services during and after the lockdown. Equally importantly, they have helped us in pandemic management too. The role of our digital warriors has been commendable in helping the country overcome challenges posed by the pandemicProactive implementation of platforms such as Arogya Setu, e-Office and video conferencing services backed by a robust ICT infrastructure has helped the country reduce the pandemic hardships..
He said, “One significant step in our lives due to robust ICT penetration is the digital inclusion. This digital inclusion has touched our lives in most simple ways as payments through internet, internet banking or as simple as Unified Payment Interface or UPI as it is popularly known.”
Lauding the NIC (National Informatics Centre) for it’s work, The President said, “ NIC is the torch-bearer of e-governance and digital transformation in the country. It has been running many technology-driven initiatives for making interaction between the government and citizens seamless and hassle-free.” He added that We must keep exploring innovative solutions for the functioning of government offices in paperless and contactless mode for security and benefit of every citizen. It will also help in making administrative processes more eco-friendly. We must leverage technology and ICT-driven innovative solutions to aid economic inclusiveness and social transformation even in the remotest corners of our country.
While speaking on participatory governance Shri Kovind said that information, it is said, is power. Sharing more information with more people not only enhances transparency in society, but also empowers citizens and civil society. With this noble ideal in mind, the government has started putting different kinds of data sets and data resources in the public domain. This is highly necessary for an informed citizenship, which is the cornerstone of democracy. The National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy too envisages a participatory model of governance in which citizens can access non-strategic information from public authorities and become partners with the government in various reform processes. He further said that Indigenous plug-and-play ICT solutions are required for the efficient, transparent and quick delivery of governance at different levels, from the Union Government to the local governance bodies. As Covid-19 has impacted the global economy, we have pledged to make India more self-reliant, that is, Atma Nirbhar. And technology is going to be a key enabler in that journey in the days to come. India has been at the forefront in implementing and adopting modern technologies in different sectors and at all levels of governance. We have to keep challenging ourselves to deliver innovative solutions to improve the ease of living for all citizens.
Delivering a congratulatory message on the occasion, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad conveyed that Digital India plays a vital role in the accomplishment of a broader vision of the Prime Minister that we have to reform, perform in order to transform. He said that it is a mark of great accomplishment that Digital India Awards 2020 are being conferred digitally. He appreciated that the IT Sector rose to the pandemic in an extraordinary manner and complimented the unsung warriors of IT teams across the nation. He said, “We need to acknowledge that nearly 9 crore farmers are being given Kisan Maandhan at a click of the button when we talk of Digital India bridging the digital divide & bringing in digital inclusion which was so evidently seen during these challenging times.” He complimented and lauded all the unsung warriors like our postal department -Dakiya who reached the remotest part of India where there were no bank, no ATM and they went with their Aadhaar Enabled payment and ensured payment to the poor people.
Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary (MeitY) congratulated NIC for organizing Digital India Awards 2020. He said that these awards help us to recognize the exemplary initiatives of various Government entities in Digital Governance.
Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General NIC in her welcome address, said that Social Good is always the primary objective of any Government initiative, and many Government entities have performed exemplarily in implementing digital solutions thus becoming role models with their work that can inspire others; the aim of Digital India Awards is to bring forth such inspiring success stories in digital governance.
Twenty-two digital governance initiatives/ products by Government entities under six categories received Digital India Awards 2020 for designing and implementing innovative citizen-centric digital solutions and improving the ease of living for all citizens. Awards under Jury Choice were given to Arogya Setu and eOffice.
The following are the winners of the awards
- Innovation in Pandemic
eSanjeevani – National Telemedicine Service, COVID-19 Sample Collection Management System, Aapda Sampoorti Portal, Pravasi Shramik and Rojgar Setu Portal
- Excellence in Digital Governance – MINISTRY / DEPARTMENT (Central)
eCommittee Supreme Court of India, Department of Justice, Department of Posts, Department of Fertilizers, Department of Land Resources
- Excellence in Digital Governance – STATE / UT
Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
- Excellence in Digital Governance – DISTRICT
Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh, Kamareddy, Telangana
- Open Data Champion
Health Sector Data on OGD Platform India, The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Food Corporation of India (FCI), Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME)
- Exemplary Product
Port Community System PCS1x – National Maritime Single Window, ServicePlus – A metadata-based Service Delivery Platform, Integrated Temple Management System – ITMS
- Jury’s Choice