Determinants of Smart Digital Infrastructure Diffusion for Urban Public Services

Determinants of Smart Digital Infrastructure Diffusion for Urban Public Services

Bhaskar Choudhuri, Praveen Ranjan Srivastava, Shivam Gupta, Ajay Kumar, Surajit Bag
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.295976
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Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ initiative intends to build robust digital ecosystem that fosters innovation & entrepreneurship enabling better citizen service & citizen empowerment. Digitization in India involves geo-demographic & socio-economic dependency, choice of smart technologies undergoing rapid innovation, strategic roll-out planning & flawless implementation as prerequisite of technology diffusion & benefit realization. This study identifies technical & non-technical determinants of smart digital framework roll out that can accelerate digital diffusion in urban public services in India. This study follows inductive exploratory method, combining grounded theory & text mining for primary data analysis. Study reveals digitization is an ecosystem of private & public enterprises and citizen participation, identifies integrated use analytics & IoT can enable connected smart city, whereas technology cost, digital literacy & sustainable innovation as non-technological determinant towards resilient urban digital infrastructure in India.
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1. Introduction

Government of India launched the Digital India program in 2015, encouraging innovative use of smart digital technologies by public and private enterprises, promote social entrepreneurship to bring in speed and transparency in public services delivery. This nationwide program vision is to empower citizens through robust digital infrastructure leading to on-demand services and governance delivery (DigitalIndia, 2020). Digital India has seventeen sub visions as explained in Figure 1, whereas there are numerous technology initiatives under Infrastructure programs Digital Identity, Center of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT), DigiLockers, MyGov, SmartCity are a few noted ones. Complementary programs like Start-up India, Skill India in addition to Digital India created a framework to encourage social entrepreneurship, knowledge-intensive innovative usage of smart technologies, the ecosystem of public-private -participation in digitization, incubate localized applications leading to efficient and transparent public service delivery.

Figure 1.

Digital India Program (Source:


1.1. India’s Digital Journey

Several factors motivated India’s digital drive recently. Post 2015 India’s technology and scientific innovation got linked to sustainable development objectives (Surana et al., 2020), government’s self-reliant India policy triggered local innovation and entrepreneurship (Goyal & Garg, 2021), Covid19 amplified reliance digital platform’s capability and availability impacting impacted citizen’ life and livelihood (Lai & Widmar, 2021). Saxena (2018) cited anti-corruption and transparency in service delivery motivates government driven innovation, but Kumar and Kumara (2018) pointed out that motivations vary on maturity level, socio-economic strata, urban, semi-urban and rural demography, education and computer mobile penetration. On the other hand, India’s flagship IT industry of 191 B US $ contributes to 8% of India’s GDP employing nearly 5 million knowledge workers (Nasscom, 2020). However, 70-80% of the IT sector is focussed on international business (Statista, 2020), which reoriented to domestic business due to global geo-political factors. Domestic digitization increased lately with private and public sectors adopting technology for better quality, competitiveness and efficiency, rapid technology innovations whereas Government pushed for cost effective, high quality and transparent digital delivery of citizen services. This resulted domestic digital industry growing over next 5 years, where Research and Markets (2020) predicted nearly 75% growth of Indian digital industry advancing to a 700 billion US$ market size.

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