Digital India being one of the most important programmes of the Government of India, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) organized a high-level consultation with the industry leaders from IT and ITeS sector with focus on digital financial services and e-commerce. The consultation was conducted for developing the roadmap for One Trillion Dollar Digital Economy in India.
The meeting was chaired by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, in the presence of i P. P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Dr. Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.
The industry was represented by leading corporate houses and industry associations like Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Google, Microsoft, Mahindra Tech, Intel Corporation, Panasonic India, NIIT, Quickheal, Practo, Hike, Lava International Ltd, Cyient Ltd, IVCA, NPCI, NASSCOM, IAMAI et al.
The industry leaders welcome the present initiative of the government and asserted that an effective partnership between government and the private sector is the key for creating One Trillion USD Digital Economy in India. Better dispute resolution mechanisms for PPP projects, promoting emerging technologies like cloud, big data, GIS, AI etc through industry collaboration, strengthening the legal framework for data security were some of the key areas where government need to take reform measures for implementing the roadmap.
In his opening remarks, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “India is well set to become USUSD 1 Trillion Digital Economy in next 7 years and it rather looks an easy target, however, the challenge would be to reach this target in 3-4 years. I appeal to the industry to join hands with the Government which is firmly believes in openness, supportive and proactive approach. India is committed to take lead in the ongoing digital revolution in the world and I would appreciate industry’s participation and support in this mission. Through such discussion, we aim to seek contribution and participation of the private sector as we stride forward to make India a truly global Digital economy.”
“The motto of the Government lead by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to reform, perform and transform. Digital India is enabling technological empowerment that is bridging the gap between haves and have nots. India’s digital story is the story of a low-cost world class technology that is being hailed across the globe. I am very proud of the Indian IT Sector and I strongly believe that IT, ITeS, Ecommerce and financial services sectors will play a vital role to realize our aspirations of becoming a USUSD 1 trillion digital economy. The trinity of JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) and Digital Payment (DigiDhan) would also prove to be the biggest drivers of digital economy in the country.” Added Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Ravi Shankar Prasad also announced that the Government will come out with new electronic and software product policy and a framework for data security and protection policy. Additionally, a GST Cell would be set up in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. He further said that there is no threat of job losses in the IT Sector. The Government as well as the industry remain upbeat about the IT Sector, as over 6 lakhs of IT jobs were created in last 3 years.
Speaking on the occasion, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, MeitY said that the engagement with industry leaders will show the way forward to the USUSD 1Trillion Digital Economy. “There is no doubt that Digital is going to be the growth engine of our economy. The power of Digital lies in its ability to enable inclusive growth, thus leading transformation of an unprecedented scale.
With Digital India driving the rapid expansion of Digital Economy, target of USD 1 trillion, though ambitious, is achievable. Digital India, thus far, has succeeded in creating a robust platform. However, without the active involvement of industry, the real potential of this platform cannot be realized. I therefore, urge the industry leaders to come forward and wholeheartedly participate in this transformation that is going to unfold in the next few years.” Added Sundararajan.
The key discussion areas include:
• How to increase the impact of digital on various sectors such as health, education and financial inclusion.
• Accelerating employment opportunities
• Innovations to fast track digitization
• Developing solutions for India and emerging market by exploring public private partnerships
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has identified Digital Payments, Make in India, Start-Up India, Skill India, 100 Smart Cities, 50 Metro Projects and Swachh Bharat to be the key drivers of the Digital Economy.
MeitY also earmarked the following emerging technology areas:
• Data Center/ Cloud
• Shared Economy
• Space technologies/ GIS
• Robotics/ Machine Learning/ Industry 4.0
• Augmented Reality/ Immersive Technologies
• 3-D Printing
• IoT/ Sensors
• Big Data/ Business Analytics/ Data Mining
• Cyber Security/ Blockchain
• Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Technologies
• Electric Vehicles
• Drones/ Autonomous Vehicles
• Natural User Interphases (Language/ Touch/ Gestures Enabled)/ Localization of Content
Itwas also projected that the Digital Economy will generate 30 million employment by 2024-25, which is double than the current scenario. Electronics, Telecom and IT/ITeS sector would be the top three contributors with 8.9 million, 8.8 million and 6.5 million of jobs respectively, followed by e-commerce with 6 million, cyber security with 2.5 million, sharing economy with 2.3 million, CSCs with 2 million and start-ups and IoT with 0.5 million jobs in each sector. E-commerce is set to grow 19-fold in generating employment, followed by 500 percent each in start-ups and IoT sector.
As a way forward, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has proposed the following:
• Accelerated broadband connectivity to rural areas
• Policy Initiatives to create Government / Private demand in various sectors including Health, Agriculture, Education, Security, Energy, Smart Cities, Tourism, etc.
o Model for pilot implementation in various sectors to demonstrate productivity gains/quality improvements.
• Dispute resolution mechanism for PPP models
• Promoting Emerging Technology Areas in collaboration with industry
o Provide policy framework for emerging technologies
o Right Skill and Skill
o Competency Building-CoEs
• Strengthening legal framework
o Legal framework for Data Security
• Building on momentum in electronics manufacturing
o Electronics Policy v2.0
• Attracting investments in Data Centers/Cloud
• Expand BPO/BPM industry leveraging Human Resource potential in tier 2-tier 3 cities
• Promoting Software Product Industry
• Strengthening Cyber security
o Preference to domestic cyber security products
• Leveraging crowd sourcing for innovative solutions
The Government of India has already partnered with the industry in designing and developing certain services and platforms like MyGov, Digital Locker, e-Sign, Cloud Services, Government e-Marketplace, e-National Agricultural Market etc.
With more than 108 crore mobile phone user, 114 crore Aadhaar accounts, around 1 lakh digitally connected gram panchayats and rapidly growing ecosystem for Digital Payments, India is very well poised to march towards a ‘One Trillion Dollar Digital Economy’ which will not only create employment opportunities for the youth, but also will pave way for exciting business avenues in the ICT and related sector. - Communications Today Bureau