BJP manifesto 2019 goes gung-ho on IT, promises optical fibre network for every gram panchayat, higher incentives on digital transactions

The BJP manifesto for the Lok Sabha election includes a number of proposals for information technology and e-governance.

The BJP on Monday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election, describing it as a "Sankalp Patra". Besides national security, good governance and the Ram Temple, information technology and e-governance form key aspects of the poll document.

The party proposes to mature into a new technology-driven platform called PRAGATI — Pro-active Governance and Timely Implementation. Through PRAGATI, the BJP aims to do away with bottlenecks that major projects face on a regular basis through video conferencing with officials across the country.

For farmers, the party proposes to strengthen the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) by taking it to other mandis. The e-NAM scheme, which was launched on 14 April, 2016, is an online trading platform for agricultural commodities in India, facilitating farmers, traders and buyers to sell their products online. The e-market helps stakeholders discover better prices and facilitates smooth marketing of their produce to take them to other mandis.

BJP manifesto 2019 goes gung-ho on IT, promises optical fibre network for every gram panchayat, higher incentives on digital transactions

BJP leaders released their manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Twitter/BJP

For villages, the BJP says in its manifesto that it will ensure that every gram panchayat is connected with a high-speed optical fibre network by 2022. Through village-level, high-speed broadband services, the party proposes to provide a range of services, such as tele-medicine, tele-education and agriculture-related advisories.

The Narendra Modi government has laid 3,01,154 kilometres of optical fibre cable, connected 1,21,652 gram panchayats with these cables and installed related equipment at 1,16,411 gram panchayats, which are service ready.

The party also proposes to launch a dedicated e-commerce portal to enhance the availability of organic produce to the doorsteps of consumers.

Moreover, the BJP says it will raise the incentives its government already provides to expand digital transactions. These incentives include giving Rs 150 to customers for carrying out 10 transactions using the BHIM app on mobiles.

The party launched the National Digital Library of India and provided access to e-books and many other papers to students free of cost. The government is already working on multiple schemes in the education sector, such as Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), SWAYAM PRABHA, e-Pathshala, the Shagun portal, the National Repository of Open Educational Resources, improving Information and Communications Technology infrastructure at Kendriya Vidyalayas.

The party also aims to cover all the secondary schools under the Operation Digital Board. It proposes to further promote research orientation in higher education institutes by providing students free access to leading journals.

Furthermore, the BJP party has proposed to achieve complete digitisation and modernisation of courts. As per the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India, 16,845 courts have been computerised till date. So far, in phase II of the operation, 166.09 crore electronic transactions were recorded for e-courts through e-Taal portal.

Apart from e-courts, the party also proposes to ensure end-to-end digitisation of government processes. It says it will enable digital delivery of government services. Its Common Services Centres offer over 300 digital services. The BJP also said it will develop a single-window mechanism to handle compliance and dispute resolution.

To make India a world leader in e-mobility, the BJP said it has allocated Rs 10,000 crore to launch a programme to promote the use of clean energy and battery-operated vehicles. The party said it will work on this front to ensure the expansion of this new mobility experience.

Furthermore, the BJP manifesto said the party will strengthen the MADAD portal and turn it into a one-stop destination for Indians living abroad seeking information and services. The Consular Services Management System (MADAD) was set up for users to register grievances pertaining to the consular services offered by Indian missions abroad.

Additionally, the BJP manifesto said the party will send an Indian to space in an Indian spacecraft as part of 'Gaganyaan' mission. It has also proposed to set up an Island Information System for coastal security.

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