According to industry sources, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to set up a Digital Communication Readiness Index (DCRI) to map and track states’ performance on digital initiatives and encourage them to learn from each other. Further, as per sources, the Cabinet secretariat and Niti Aayog has mandated DoT to set up the index as it will help keeping track of various initiatives and policies for the telecom sector like right of way (RoW), policy for shared duct infrastructure, 5G rollout, telecom skilling, etc. With the help of the index, the government will be able to track the impact of initiatives like information communications technology (ICT) use by a state and status of BharatNet project. 

The DoT will be the nodal department to set up the index, which is likely to be implemented within this year. The participation of all the states is necessary to propagate the digital infrastructure. Once the index is implemented, all states can see the status updates around the digital initiatives under one head and can learn from each other in framing or improving various policies. Meanwhile, the move is expected to provide an impetus to states to better their digital infrastructure. Besides, the government can also track uptake of initiatives like BharatNet and take necessary action.