Prez Kovind gives Digital India Awards 2020; Ravi Shankar Prasad, MeitY Secy Sawhney attend

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind virtually conferred the Digital India Awards 2020 today, 30th December, at via video conferencing. In line with Digital India’s vision, this is the first time that the entire process of the Digital India Awards was conducted online from nominations to screening to the final awards ceremony. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has been conducting the biennial Digital India Awards (DIA) to promote innovation in e-Governance and digital transformation of government service delivery mechanism, according to a press statement from the Ministry of Electronics & IT.

The Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad; Secretary (MeitY), Ajay Sawhney; and other dignitaries attended the event virtually from different locations including the Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, and Kolkata, Bhopal, and Chennai.

According to the MietY statement, the event was telecast live on Doordarshan and also live-streamed on NIC Social media platforms. Digital India Awards have been institutionalised under the ambit of National Portal of India to honour exemplary initiatives/practices in Digital-Governance. The National Portal of India (india.gov.in) is a Flagship Project to facilitate single window access to Government Information and Services in cyberspace.

The awards have been held for 5 seasons earlier, in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. The Awards were initially known as Web Ratna Awards until 2014 and were re-named Digital India Awards from the 2016 season.

The 6th Digital India Awards 2020 have been announced under the following six categories:

  1. Innovation in Pandemic: To felicitate a Government entity which has developed an outstanding, innovative digital solution to facilitate citizens to undertake various activities with ease during the time of pandemic in areas like communication, health, education, travel etc. or to ensure continuity of government services.
  1. Excellence in Digital Governance – Ministry / Department (Central): To felicitate a Ministry or Department of the Government of India which has a comprehensive digital presence and displays a high level of inter- and intra-Department Integration in its digital initiatives. Integration with electronic authentication and digital payments are also assessed.
  1. Excellence in Digital Governance – State / UT: The Award acknowledges the State/UT of India that displays exemplary initiative in establishing comprehensive digital presence in sectors like health, labour, finance, social justice, and environment leading to the accomplishment of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  1. Excellence in Digital Governance – District: To reward the accomplishments of the district administration which has displayed exemplary focus on providing comprehensive information to citizens in the regional language. Entries must display the spectrum of coverage highlighting the important facets of the district in terms of tourism, art, culture, handicraft, and access to utilities.
  1. Open Data Champion: Open Data Championship Award is to acknowledge the ministries/departments/organisations/states for proactive, timely, and regular release of datasets/resources through web services/APIs on the Open Government Data (OGD) Platform in compliance with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP).
  1. Exemplary Product: The award honors those products that have made their mark in the field of Digital Governance. The product must have shown a high degree of replicability, scalability and must be successfully implemented by government departments/entities. The aspect of digital security is a primary criterion of evaluation.

In addition to the above six categories, Jury Choice Award was conferred to honour excellence in the design and implementation of National Public Digital Platform.

Central Government ministries/departments/offices/institutions, State Government departments/offices/institutions, district administrations and Indian Missions Abroad were eligible to apply for the Digital India Awards. A project could be nominated for more than one category, according to the IT Ministry.

In order to initiate and steer the activities for the Digital India Awards 2020, a high-level jury under the chairmanship of Secretary, MeitY with representation from government, industry, and academia was constituted. The online nomination process for DIA 2020 commenced from 23rd October and was open for one month, during which 402 nominations were received. Shortlisting and ranking of the nominations are done by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi who have been associated with the previous editions of the awards as nomination processing partners. Shortlisted nominations in each category were presented to the jury to finalise the winners in each category through online presentations.

Watch President Ram Nath Kovind confer the Digital India Awards 2020:


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The ID Staff

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