by Anushree Ghosh
In recent years, the usage of internet has augmented rapidly. Also, the amount of time an individual spends online has also amplified. According to a report by The National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 – ‘an average user spends around 6 hours each day using internet devices and services.’
The same report also states the following:
- Over a billion Indians are connected wirelessly.
- 96% of internet users connect through their mobile.
- Rural India constitutes nearly 40% of internet users.
- In 2017, India consumed over 2,360 PB of data – highest globally.
Role of government in digital transportation
Government’s policies have played a key role in changing India’s digital scenario. Many decisions taken by the government proved to be beneficial for the growth of digital infrastructure in India. In 2014, the dawn of new age India was geared up for transition with policies like “100 Smart Cities” and “Make in India”. In 2018, Prime Minister Modi called for more investment in the digital infrastructure- big data analytics and artificial intelligence. These initiatives gave rise to a series of start-ups in the country, which dominated the technological sector. All this has greatly seeded the need for further digitising the country.
Factors that will decide the Future of Digital India
- Government’s policies on incentivising the telecom companies, i.e., easy investment and tax relaxation.
- Regular power supply at economical prices.
- Creating opportunities for infrastructure providers.
- Launch broadband readiness index of states.
In 2017, The Supreme Court of India stated the accessibility of internet as the basic fundamental right for the citizens of the country – something that must not be restricted. While this was an epic announcement, 65% of our population are still offline. In case, we can connect the people who are currently not accessing the internet, it becomes a huge digital market. The dream is to have 50Mbps data access for every Indian.
Digital India Objectives
By 2020, we will see the lives of the Indians getting transformed with the use of 5G. Billions of devices, machines, appliances and vehicles will be connected; hyper-connectivity will shape the future of digital India. By then, around 60% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to come from the digital infrastructure- data, Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, etc. Further, the application of these elements will rise in sectors like agriculture, health care and education.
The expected challenge to the growth of Digital Economy
- Many people are slow to adapt to technological changes.
- Basic phones are not equipped to provide uninterrupted internet access.
- We still don’t have resources that can help us achieve global standards.
- A single window clearance system would accelerate the process.
- Formation of uniform guidelines for the telecom operators in all the states.
- An approach that would speed up the process of installing telecom towers.
- Working on the mechanism that can bring the states, centre and the local bodies together.