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'Architect of Digital India': Rajiv Gandhi's key decisions and their lasting impact

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's political life was short but "hugely impactful," and he left several legacies that we take for granted today, says Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Written by  Shgun S -- May 21st 2024 12:56 PM
'Architect of Digital India': Rajiv Gandhi's key decisions and their lasting impact

'Architect of Digital India': Rajiv Gandhi's key decisions and their lasting impact

PTC Web Desk: Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's political life was short but "hugely impactful," and he left several legacies that we take for granted today, says Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Rajiv Gandhi Death Anniversary

"His political life was very short but hugely impactful. He left behind numerous legacies that we take for granted now," Jairam Ramesh said. His remarks came as he remembered the former Prime Minister on his 33rd death anniversary. 

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, remembering his late father, said: "Father, Your dreams, my dreams, Your aspirations, my responsibilities. Your memories, today and always, always in my heart." Rahul, along with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhipaid respect to Rajiv Gandhi at Veer Bhumi in Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to Rajiv Gandhi. "On his death anniversary, my tributes to our former PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi Ji," he wrote on X.

Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi was India's youngest prime minister. During his five-year leadership from 1984 to 1989, the Congress leader made serious efforts to bring the country into the twenty-first century. Rajiv Gandhi established the groundwork for a modern India. He left a stamp of modernity.

Here's why Rajiv Gandhi is rightfully referred to as the architect of Digital India

Telecom Revolution

Rajiv Gandhi is known as the 'Father of India's Information Technology and Telecom Revolution'. 

Under his leadership, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) was founded in August 1984 to create cutting-edge telecommunication technology and satisfy the needs of the Indian telecommunications network.

C-DOT transformed the communication network in India's towns and villages. Because of Rajiv Gandhi's efforts, the PCO (public call office) revolution occurred and PCO booths connected even rural places to the outside world.

Voting Age

The 61st Amendment Act of the Constitution, passed in 1989, lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years. This action gave youths a say in selecting Lok Sabha MPs and MLAs in their states.


Rajiv Gandhi promoted science, technology, and related sectors. One approach was to lower import quotas, taxes, and tariffs on specific industries, particularly computers, airlines, defence, and telecommunications. The Indian Railways were upgraded with the introduction of computerised train tickets.

Panchayat Raj

Rajiv Gandhi is credited with laying the foundation of Panchayati Raj institutions in an attempt to bring democracy to the grassroots level. Though Panchayati Raj was established by the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution in 1992, a year after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, the foundation was laid during his Congress government.


In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi introduced the National Policy on Education (NPE) to reform and expand higher education programmes across the country. With NPE in place, the central government established residential schools known as Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas to nurture the best rural talent. These schools offer free residential education from grades six to twelve to the rural community.

Following the assassination of his mother, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi assumed leadership of the Congress in 1984. He became India's youngest Prime Minister at the age of 40 when he took office in October 1984.

He served as India's Prime Minister till December 2, 1989. Rajiv Gandhi, born on August 20, 1944, was killed on May 21, 1991, by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an electoral rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.


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