On Saturday, BJP released its IT Vision document for the upcoming elections which paints unfolds a great picture for the future of Indian IT Kingdom involving even the masses and classes to be precise.

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The highlights of the 30 page IT Vision document is as follows (Read the bold-highlighted ones bit more carefully):

  1. Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) with unique Citizen Identification Number (CIN) for every Indian citizen in 3 years; to replace all other identification systems.
  2. 1.2 crore (12 million) new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas.
  3. 1 crore (10 million) students to get laptop computers at Rs 10,000. Interest-free loan for anyone unable to afford it.
  4. National Digital Highway Development Project to create India’s Internet backbone, and Pradhan Mantri Digital Gram Sadak Yojana for last-mile access even in the remotest of villages.
  5. Broadband Internet (2 Mbps) in every town and village, at cable TV prices (less than Rs 200/month). Read this one too
  6. All schools and colleges to have Internet-enabled education.
  7. 100% financial inclusion through bank accounts, with e-Banking facilities, for all Indian citizens. Direct transfer of welfare funds, preferably to the woman of the house.
  8. Every BPL (Below Poverty Line) family to be given a free smart mobile phone, which can be used by even illiterate users for accessing their bank accounts.
  9. Number of mobile subscribers to be increased from 40 crore at present to 100 crore in five years. Internet users to equal mobile subscribers. India to equal China in every IT parameter in five years.
  10. Video conferencing to be made affordable and universally accessible.
  11. Primary Health Centre in every village to be linked to the National Telemedicine Service Network. Basic health insurance scheme for every citizen, using the IT platform. Cashless hospitalisation.
  12. India’s ranking in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which is currently 128, to be improved to 50 in five years, with the long-term objective of bringing India within Top Twenty by 2020.
  13. Massive expansion in the use of IT in agriculture, rural development, SMEs, retail trade, and informal and unorganised sectors of the economy.
  14. National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the Centre to the Panchayats. The ‘E Gram Vishwa Gram’ scheme, launched by Shri Narendra Modi in Gujarat, to be implemented nationwide.
  15. Government spending to be made corruption-free. A former Prime Minister had once said, “If I put Rs. 100 in the pipeline in Delhi, only Rs. 15 reach the end beneficiary.” In contrast to Congress governments’ Leaky Pipeline, the BJP’s IT Pipeline will ensure 100% benefit to people. Those who misappropriate public funds will be punished.
  16. All post offices to be converted into IT-enabled Multi-Service Outlets. All telephone booths to be upgraded to Internet kiosks.
  17. Citizens will have a simple 1-800 BSNL Toll Free Number, which will be accessible 24x7x 365 days of the year, to contact their Member of Parliament.
  18. Unlimited VoIP access to all.
  19. e-Bhasha: National Mission for Promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
  20. Special focus to bring women, SC/STs, OBCs and other weaker sections of society within the ambit of IT-enabled development.
  21. Use of IT for the protection of India’s priceless cultural and artistic heritage.
  22. Government to standardize on ‘open standard’ and ‘open source’ software.
  23. Domestic IT hardware industry to be aggressively promoted to minimise dependence on imports.
  24. Domestic hosting industry to be promoted to minimize international bandwidth charges.
  25. An independent body, Digital Security Agency (DSA), to be set up for cyber warfare, cyber counter-terrorism, and cyber security of national digital assets.
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Some of the claims seems over-enthusiastic (viz. Unlimited VoIP access to all) but thinking about the need of the hour, I think it makes sense. Though roadblocks would be plenty but the manifesto is attuned with the timely needs. What is to be seen is the implementation. One thing which delighted me is the acceptance of open standards & softwares which I think would definitely foster creativity and innovation at the grassroots level. But proper monitoring and authority is required too. Also noteworthy is the opening of a toll-free helpline to access MoP which I personally think is a great step towards transparency and accountability. Me too like many think that some of the claims are more like fairy tales but at least from my viewpoint, there’s always a start. BTW I would be eagerly awaiting Congress’ take on this since that would give us a fair perspective about the state of things to come for India in the future.

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So what do you think about BJP’s IT manifesto? How much will you buy in….

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h/t to Pluggdin for pointing towards the manifesto!

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