By Atash Kulkarni
India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the information technology (IT) industry, approximately 67 per cent of the US$ 124-130 billion market. The industry employs about 10 million workforces. More importantly, the industry has led the economic transformation of the country and altered the perception of India in the global economy. India is also gaining prominence in terms of intellectual capital with several global IT firms setting up their innovation centres in here.
India ranks among the top five countries in terms of digitalisation maturity as per Accenture’s Platform Readiness Index, and is expected to be among the top countries with the opportunity to grow and scale up digital platforms by 2020. The Indian IT sector is expected to grow at a rate of 12-14 per cent for FY2016-17 in constant currency terms. The sector is also expected triple its current annual revenue to reach US$ 350 billion by FY 2025. Moreover, the total spending on IT by banking and security firms in India is expected to grow 8.6 per cent year-on-year to US$ 7.8 billion by 2017. Most banks expect the money earmarked for tech to increase next year, with many projecting it will grow by more than 10%. Even though the US market might take a step back for IT outsourcing, there’s another Big player entering g the IT space – The Indian Government. You read it right!
Government Initiatives –
In the Union Budget 2017-18, the Government of India announced the following key proposals:
- The Government of India has allocated Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.5 billion) for BharatNet project under which it aims to provide high speed broadband to more than 150,000 gram panchayats by 2017-18.
- Prime Minister of India, Mr NarendraModi, has launched the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, an Aadhaar-based mobile payment application that will allow users to make digital payments without having to use a credit or debit card. The app has already reached the mark of 10 million downloads.
- Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law & Justice and Information Technology, has launched a free Doordarshan DTH channel called DigiShala, which will help people understand the use of unified payments interface (UPI), USSD, aadhaar-enabled payments system, electronic wallets, debit and credit cards, thereby promoting various modes of digital payments.
- The Government of India plans to revamp the United Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), to make it easier for consumers to transact digitally either with or without an Internet connection with the aim of strengthening its push towards making India a digital economy.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will soon release consultation papers ahead of framing regulations and standards for the rollout of fifth-generation (5G) networks and Internet of Things (IoT) in India.
- The Government of Gujarat has signed 89 MoUs worth Rs 16,000 crore (US$ 2.3 billion) in the IT sector, during Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit-2017.
- The Government of Telangana has signed an agreement with network solutions giant Cisco Systems Incorporation, to cooperate on a host of technology initiatives, including Smart Cities, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, education digitisation of monuments.
- The Railway Ministry plans to give a digital push to the India Railways by introducing bar-coded tickets, Global Positioning System (GPS) based information systems inside coaches, integration of all facilities dealing with ticketing issues, Wi-Fi facilities at the stations, super-fast long-route train service for unreserved passengers among other developments, which will help to increase the passenger traffic.
- The Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDCL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), which will allow it to gain access to real-time knowledge of technologies, solutions and best practices from Europe.
- The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has entered into a partnership with private companies, including Tata Motors Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and real-estate firm Hubtown Ltd, to open three Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), through public-private partnership (PPP), at Nagpur, Ranchi and Pune.
- The Government of India has launched the Digital India program to provide several government services to the people using IT and to integrate the government departments and the people of India. The adoption of key technologies across sectors spurred by the ‘Digital India Initiative’ could help boost India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by US$ 550 billion to US$ 1 trillion by 2025.
- India and the US have agreed to jointly explore opportunities for collaboration on implementing India’s ambitious Rs 1.13 trillion (US$ 16.58 billion) ‘Digital India Initiative’. The two sides also agreed to hold the US-India Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Working Group in India later this year.