India Has The Potential To Be A 1 Trillion-Dollar Digital Economy: Ravi Shankar Prasad

India needs a ‘New Regulatory Framework’ for the digital world, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad ‘Minister of Law and Justice’, ‘Communications’ and ‘Electronics and IT’ said while addressing industry leaders at the second national council meeting of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Elaborating further he informed that laws like the Indian IT law as well as the data protection law need to be upgraded. His ministry has finalized the data protection law which will soon be taken to the cabinet and parliament for approval.

Speaking on the importance of data, he said that many consider data as the ‘new oil’. Emphasizing the importance of data security, he said India generates a lot of data and data sovereignty will not be negotiable. While some data mobility is important, we need to have reciprocity. We will keep data availability, utility, innovation, localization and security in sync’. The minister said that areas of data availability, data innovation, its security and utility are increasingly becoming important. Elaborating further he said areas as varied as child health and nutrition and financial services have high degree of data importance and utility. Outlining the government’s stance, he said those who seek to indulge in data commerce need to follow the rules of the game set by the government.

He said that India has the potential to be a 1 trillion-dollar digital economy. Explaining further, he said digital economy includes areas like software production, cyber security, e-commerce, electronics manufacturing and smart manufacturing, communication and data analytics amongst others. His ministry has started the ‘digital village’ scheme, on which the minister stated We are going to establish 1 lakh digital villages which includes facilities like fibre optic based broadband connection, public wi-fi, computer centre, e-health and e-education services amongst others. On the progress made so far by the digital India initiative, he said BPOs and common service centers in villages are delivering great services. 240 BPOs are working across India in smaller cities and there is digital appetite everywhere.

He pointed out that India has moved ahead in electronic manufacturing. When he had taken over the ministry in his previous tenure, there were only two companies operating in this area which has now increased to 268 companies. More than 300 hospitals have been connected via e-hospitals, over 150 countries connected through e-Visa scheme.

On his responsibility as a minister of law and justice he emphasized that more than 1500 archaic laws have been replaced and commercial courts have been established. The Government’s responsibility is to provide the infrastructure, and over 18000 courts in 3000 court complexes have been digitized so far. He said that alternate dispute mechanism is being fast tracked and India needs to develop as a center for arbitration. He said the dependence on arbitrators from other countries needs to be reduced.―Business Standard

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