Creating One Trillion Dollar Digital Economy in India

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Digital India being one of the most important programmes of the Government of India. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) recently 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, Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology.

The IT 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.

During the meeting, MeitY shared the following projections towards the Trillion Dollar Digital Economy, as envisaged by the Government of India:

Item 2016-17 2024-25
IT/ITeS $ 160 Bn $ 350 Bn    (12-14% CAGR)
Electronics $ 100 Bn $ 300 Bn (16-23% CAGR)
Telecom $ 80 Bn $ 150 Bn   (10% CAGR)
E-Commerce $ 30 Bn $ 150 Bn  (36% CAGR)
Digital Payments $ 3 Bn $ 50 Bn
Cyber Secutiry $ 18 Bn $ 35 Bn
IoT $ 6 Bn $ 20 Bn  
Sharing Economy $ 1 Bn $ 30 Bn
Digital Skilling $ 15 Bn $ 30 Bn
Total $ 413 Billion $ 1.115 Trillion

It was 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% 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.
 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
 Provide policy framework for emerging technologies
 Right Skill and Skill
 Incentivize
 Competency Building-CoEs
• Strengthening legal framework
 Legal framework for Data Security
• Building on momentum in electronics manufacturing
 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
 Preference to domestic cyber security products
• Leveraging crowd sourcing for innovative solutions

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

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.

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 $ 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.

Minister 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.

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.

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