tunities. But support for the initiative doesn’t
appear widespread. Fewer than half ( 42 percent)
of Indians support Digital India, according to a
survey conducted in May. Part of the problem
may be the country’s literacy rate. It was only 74
percent in 2011; the government hopes to raise it
to 80 percent before the end of this year.
More Substantial Communication
To reach those who can read, Digital India’s sponsor has taken to social media.
“The government is actually doing quite a good
job of reaching out to people already connected to
the Internet to create a public sense of what the
program is about and what it hopes to achieve,” Mr.
Chattapadhyay says. More substantial communica-
tion will be needed to clarify exactly how the gov-
ernment will achieve Digital India goals, he says.
The government also has been slow to explain
how private-sector contractors will help deliver
specific projects. “From the perspective of a
domestic or foreign company that’s interested in
implementing part of this infrastructure program,
the government hasn’t clarified who exactly is procuring services, who is responsible for putting out
tenders and so on,” Mr. Chattapadhyay says.
Fortunately, there’s time for the program to
correct course. “It’s still early,” Mr. Chattapadhyay
says. “Once the first set of projects under the Digital India initiative is detailed by the government
and contract tenders are issued, we should have a
better idea what the projects will be, which departments are leading them and what shape the overall
program will take.” —Matt Alderton
Big Building on Campus
Universities are embarking on building binges to
construct new facilities and even new campuses.
Columbia University is spending US$6 billion
to build a new 17-acre ( 6.9-hectare) campus in
New York, New York, USA. Across the U.S., the
number of construction projects launched by col-
leges last year increased 19 percent over the previ-
ous year, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
Halfway around the world in Sydney, Australia,
universities had more than AU$2 billion in work
underway as of last year.
But some students facing staggering tuition
rate was only
in 2011; the
raise it to 80
before the end
of this year.
Rendering of Cornell Tech’s
Roosevelt Island Campus