The Digital Republic!
If the decade of 90s is known as the LPG decade, 2010 onwards it has been the decade of digital which is making the country Republic to its essence.
One of the fundamental inherent ingredients of technology especially the digitally led technologies is that it empowers the end users. This is the essence of being a republic nation as well. While in democracy the people get a chance to elect their representatives, republic ensures that the power rests with the people through their elected representatives.
Digital ecosystem is just similar to this. While it appears at many times that technology is driving people, the reality is that the power still rests with the people. We may feel being driven by a technology or a set of few technologies. We may feel that our clock is subservient to the technologies we leveraged in a day. But the fact is that the power of unleashing the power of these technologies still is owned by us, the people. This is what being republic means!
The equal and equitable access to digital makes it democratic where a user is absolutely in the freedom to choose which applications and platforms to use. As a user it is absolutely in my control to decide which app I can use for any digital transaction - commerce, payment, content, entertainment, etc. The modern and present digital landscape doesn't stop there. It has evolved to being a Digital Republic now where I have the control of how it can empower me as a user.
Technologies of future like AI, 5G, Block Chain, Smart City, Smart Home among others are further going to underscore this empowering nature of technology, however, with complete power within a user's control and command about how these technologies can empower.
But as we move into this new era, we also need to be disciplined and stay guided following a sacred book - a Digital Constitution. The way digital is becoming a way of living, mere rules and guidelines will not suffice. There has to be a complete constitution adopted for being a true Digital Republic which integrates the digital landscape with the fundamentals and essence guiding the spirit of the nation. This is how a user will unambiguously be able to understand the duties and responsibilities of being a citizen of the Digital Republic.
This will also ensure that the citizens are always put first even in a digital environment and technology is seen as an equitably empowering tool or solution at the assistance of the citizens. The digital ecosystem is a participatory one where we have government participation, participation from the private sector, participation from the global companies, participation from individuals, participation from not-for-profit organisations and other constituents. So all these will influence and attempt to drive the digital landscape in their own interests and flavour. The digital constitution will help in balancing this with citizen still remaining at the heart of it.
The timing is perfect as India is very close to celebrating 75 years of being republic along with unleashing the technologies of future like 5G. This natural positioning makes India a strong contender of becoming the pioneer of being a Digital Republic driving thought leadership globally.