February started off with a bang, what with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introducing the Union Budget 2023 and the introduction of the Economic Survey 2022-23. As always, the government has taken a positive attitude highlighting the best aspects of the Survey report. Here's a tweet shared by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on the same. https://twitter.com/GoI_MeitY/status/1620446511023919105 Why this matters: As you can see above, the government has made many claims regarding Digital India while glossing over other issues and context. While the statements made here may be factually correct, MediaNama refers to previous reportage or existing reports to highlight that the picture is not as rosy as it seems. Increase in internet subscriptions: MeitY said that rural internet subscriptions grew by 200 percent between 2015 and 2021 whereas in urban regions, the subscriptions rose by 158 percent. While the Covid-19 lockdowns may have something to do with this rise, MediaNama’s analysis of government’s quarterly reports in September 2022, actually showed a decline in subscriptions. Particularly, the rural regions showed a great decline, as per the Telecom Regulation Authority of India’s reports. Co-WIN helped delivery of services: Another claim by the government department in the survey was that dashboards and apps like Co-WIN, UMANG, e-SHRAM portal, etc., ensured better service delivery. Yet in April 2021, MediaNama reported that the government even shared the Co-WIN data with third parties for appointment vacancies search and certificate downloads. While platforms like these are useful to streamline services, where are the data…
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