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Draft Digital India Bill to be available for public consultation by month-end

After the draft data protection bill, the government is now all set to bring another key legislation — Digital India Bill — that will be made available for public consultation by the month-end, Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Thursday.

The Digital India Bill, which will replace the 22-year old Information Technology (IT) Act, will be contemporary and a modern piece of legislation, the Minister promised.

The proposed bill, alongside the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill whose draft was released recently, will contribute to the evolving framework which is light on regulation, safeguards consumer rights and catalyses innovation, the minister said while speaking at CII Global Economic Policy Summit 2022.

Chandrasekhar further informed that Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for ‘wearables’ is in the offing. He termed wearables as among the fastest growing segment in the electronics space.

On the proposed Digital India Act, he said it will deal with issues such as ownership of non-personal data and even data portablity.

“The Digital India Act will be available for consultation by the end of this month,” Chandrasekhar said.

The IT Act is a 22-year-old legislation which “predates even the internet”, he informed.

“It is a legislation that does not even mention the internet, and it is a legislation that regulates the internet. So we will slowly and systematically create a framework of legislations where digital personal data protection is one element of it,” he said.

The government had two months back launched the the National Data Governance Framework Policy which addresses the issue of government’s own data ecosystem.

“And we will shortly be introducing the successor to IT Act, a much more contemporary, much more global standard, modern bill called the Digital India Act. These three will form a framework which will be light on regulation, will manage the binaries of protecting consumers rights but effectively also catalysing innovation,” he said.

India is taking confident strides and growing its manufacturing clout globally, the minister said. As the world looks at a diversified supply chain, India is positioning itself to be a significant player in the changing global value chain construct.

India has set a target to reach USD 300 billion in electronics manufacturing with USD 120 billion of exports by 2025-26. From the current levels, that would mean 8 times growth in the next 4-5 years in exports alone and 4 times growth when seen in the context of overall revenue and manufacturing share in global value chains.

“The pathway to India’s techade is paved with solid opportunities,” the minister said, adding, “the runway to trillion dollar digital economy is well lit”.

He spoke of the National Data Governance Framework Policy that deals with the ability to use citizen data provided it is anonymous and stripped-off any personal identifiers.

“We will be soon launching what will be the world’s largest publicly available data-sets platform, called the India data-sets platform, that will be used both by the government and researchers,” he said. PTI

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