Innovation to be Focal point for Technology from Budget 2019
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Budget 2019-2020 is going to be announced soon after the historic victory of the NDA government elected for second term. Nirmala Sitharaman will present her maiden budget in the Lok Sabha on 5th July. Digital sector has high expectations from the budget with regards to innovation happening in the sector. Modi government launched digital India initiative four years ago to leverage the power of technology and make it more accessible. Digital initiative has truly made our country digital with technology being used in healthcare to making cities ‘smart’. Here are a few areas where technology has permeated and their expectations from budget.
IT is a very lucrative sector and brimming with opportunities and strongest part of the economy. IT should integrate emergent technologies artificial intelligence, machine learning into the sector. Tata consultancy services, India’s homegrown IT industry recently surpassed technology giant IBM in market capitalization recently. Javed Tapia MD and CEO of Clover Infotech said, “Indian IT industry has strongly aligned itself to ride the global digital transformation wave. There is a huge demand for skilled talent in the IT industry and government should earmark funds for this. A thriving IT sector will not only augment exports but also fuel the growth of consumption economy”. He goes on to say that, “government must introduce favorable policies, tax benefits etc for skilling manpower and provide much needed employment boost”.
Technology is not only aiding and transforming our lives but also saving it. Healthcare sector is using technology for faster and more effective solution for diseases. From healthcare trackers, apps to revolutionizing drug development, healthcare has seen tremendous growth in use of technology. Pradeep Dadha, founder and CEO of Netmeds says that “2019-2020's allocation will determine whether healthcare & health-tech startup will work in sync with the government's public healthcare policy & Digital India initiative”. He further goes on to say that “generic drug substitution will play a pivotal role in lowering the public healthcare cost drastically, making quality healthcare accessible to the remotest corners of the country. The government should support initiatives to increase awareness among the masses”
AI is reshaping the progress of so many sectors in the country. It is being used in all the sectors of the economy from healthcare, education to e-commerce among others. AI is evolving everyday and also the need for proper technology and infrastructure is also rising for it. Anil Valluri of NetApp says, “Government should fortify the investments in the artificial intelligence sector as indicated in the interim budget, so that the benefits of AI technology can reach the masses. Priority should be laid on delivering this in the short, medium as well as long term - in order to shape the architecture of our society into a global one.”
Digital Infrastructure is necessary to the economy and quality of life of a modern nation. As part of digital India Aadhar and e-KYC made life simpler for people and made it easier for them to get direct benefit transfers in any segment. Valluri comments that “government should put the spotlight back on initiative like digital India to enable the digital infrastructure as a utility to empower citizens digitally”.
Smart CitiesIndia’s urban renewal project has selected 100 cities across India for the redevelopment of entire urban ecosystem. Smart cities mission is an innovative initiative to promote clean and sustainable application of ‘smart’ solutions to develop cities with core infrastructure, digital technologies and urban planning. According to government guidelines smart cities require 10 percent of energy demands to be met by solar power. Devendra Parulkar, co-founder of SaffronStays says “even simple steps such as investing in solar panels and building further awareness on using alternative energy sources of power generation can go a long way in making our country more sustainability focused while still pushing for economic growth”.