A Step in the Direction Of Digital India

Sangeeta Gupta, Vice President - Research, NASSCOM
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Sangeeta Gupta, Vice President - Research, NASSCOM
The 1988 born NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) is a trade association of IT and BPO industry. Headquartered in Delhi, this non-profit organization serves across the domains of software development, software services, software products, IT-enabled/BPO services and e-commerce.

Highlighting the government's vision of a Digital India and giving due recognition to IT, the FM, announced a slew of measures, likely to have a positive impact. A stable and investor friendly regime is much required to boost growth – harbinger for a digital revolution, appropriate skilling of youth and development of satellite towns which can share a part of the burgeoning load currently placed on city infrastructure.

Internet penetration in rural India hovers between 5 – 6 percent and remains a major cause for concern. Rs.500 crores outlay towards National Rural Internet & Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills and 'e-kranti' for government service delivery will act as a catalyst to bridge this gaping digital divide. The e-Biz platform, will create an investor-friendly ecosystem in India by making all investment related clearances and compliances available on a 24/7 single portal, with an integrated payment gateway. It will augment digital inclusion with broadband connectivity upto the village level, thereby enabling improved access to services through IT enabled platforms. The last mile connectivity yet remains a major challenge and needs to be addressed immediately. Very recently, the Telecom & IT Minister has also said that more than 1.34 Lakh internet enabled centres have been set up which certainly shows a positive intent on part of the government.

Majority of rural internet users are more comfortable in the vernacular language and developing services which cater to this segment will provide an opportunity for domestic IT business. Mobile penetration, on the other hand has been considerably high in villages, nearly touching 40 percent or thereabouts. Given the affordable prices of mobile handsets and accessibility in rural India, internet access through mobile devices has been significantly more than PCs. Countries which have a higher broadband and mobile penetration are better placed to leverage technology which will impact labour productivity positively. This in turn will increase GDP by several basis points.

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