The Digital Push of Narendra Modi Government
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As the Budget 2019-2020 came to an end with Finance Minister Piyush Goyal spelling out what the budget will be looking like across sectors on 1st February, all the speculations have now come to an end. Among the many things, the nation has been all eyes and ears about is ‘Digital India’ that was first introduced in 2015 by the Government of India. Even the technologies in the country have been looking forward to a boost in the upcoming budget.
Here goes what the nation has been speculating and how the Budget actually turned out to be.
‘Digital India’ that has been designed to bring the whole country under the banner of the Internet, was targeted not only to give the power of the internet in the hands of everyone in the country but also to promote digital payments and transactions.
After today’s announcement of the budget, few interesting facts that came to the fore. As Goyal pointed out, India is now the leading country in mobile data usage with monthly data consumption increased by over 50 times in the last five years. He mentions, “The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest on the world.”
Under ‘Make in India’, mobile and mobile parts manufacturing company increased from two to more than 268. This significant enhancement has not only boosted the mobile industry but will also take the country a step closer to the attainment of ‘Digital India’. And it is needless to mention that this is and will be creating job opportunities for many.
The government has also taken initiative towards digitally refurbish infrastructures for villages, and has announced its plan of converting rural areas into digital villages. In the next 5 years, India will supposedly be able to create one lakh digital villages.
The 4th Industrial Revolution
The advancement of technologies pose a major threat to a major slice of jobs in the Indian market and citing the threat, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2018 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre specified that the '4th Industrial Revolution' will alter the nature of jobs and will be coming with more prospects in terms of job creation. The Prime Minister also acknowledged the prominence that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data own in shaping the country’s technology front. In turn, these advanced technologies will not only be shaping the country’s technology front but also will prove crucial in job creation. In the Budget 2018, $480 million was allotted for AI, ML and IoT.
Although the expectation was that AI, Blockchain, ML, IoT and Big Data would be in the spotlight, AI managed to attract all the focus on itself. Goyal says, “In order to take the benefits of AI and related technologies to the people, a national program on AI has been envisaged by our government. This will be catalyzed by the establishment of the national centre on AI as a hub along with centres of excellence.”
Adding further, he mentions that the government has identified nine priority areas, a national program of AI has been envisaged and it will be developing a national AI portal soon.The spike in the startup ecosystem has been appealing for entrepreneurs and as Goyal mentions, “job seekers are job creators” now. “We are proud of the hard work and innovative ideas of our youth.” With respect to the small businesses and startups that presented the country with opportunities to move forward, GST has tried to offer relief to the turnover of up to INR 40 lakhs.