Smart Cities

From Aadhaar to Smart Cities: Innovations aimed at transforming nation into Digital India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced the rollout of the Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM), also known as the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The program focuses on the organisation of a citizen’s health records on a digital platform to ease access to healthcare services. The longitudinal exchange of health records will be facilitated through a health ID for every citizen which will have its own unique code like the Aadhaar card.

The latest initiative in the healthcare sector is another big push to the larger ‘Digital India’ mission which has been recognized as a ‘transformative’ idea under the Narendra Modi Government. Digital India aims at pulling together many existing schemes and restructuring, revamping and re-focusing them to arrive at innovative solutions. These initiatives have been envisioned under nine pillars of of growth and are planned to be realized within the next three years.

PM Modi’s vision for Digital India

Digital India aims to provide the much-needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas in India– Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes. Its programs have been largely divided into- Insfratrure, Empowerment and Services. Here are some of the initiatives that are leading the country towards a Digital India.

1. Aadhaar

Aadhaar identity platform is one of the key pillars of ‘Digital India’ and is the largest biometrics-based identification system in the world. Every resident of the country is provided with a unique identity or Aadhaar number, which helps a citizen avail the benefits of public sector and financial reforms.

2. Direct Benifit Transfer

Another visionary program launched under Digital India is the DBT which was initiated with the aim to reform the government delivery system. Cutting out the role of middlemen from the public’s access to benefits, DBT facilitates a faster flow of information/funds to the beneficiaries and aims at the reduction of fraud.


Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an app that makes payment transactions simple, easy and quick using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It enables direct bank-to-bank payments instantly and collects money simply using a Mobile number or Payment address.


GTSN attempts to establish a uniform interface for the taxpayer, as well as a shared IT infrastructure between Centre and States. The portal provides an IT Backbone to the smooth functioning of the Goods & Services Tax regimen.


PM-WANI is a key scheme in the telecom sector which aims to expand internet coverage across the length and breadth of the country. Prime Minister WiFi Access Network Interface is an extension of the Centre’s vision of digital empowerment and will help a person access WiFi anywhere in the country.

6. Smart Cities

PM Modi had launched the Smart Cities Mission in June 2015 with an objective to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure, and a clean and sustainable environment to their residents. India’s Smart Cities Mission (SCM) has identified 100 cities, covering 21% of India’s urban population under the initiative.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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