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The Digital India program has been launched for creating transformation by empowering the society with knowledge and increasing the viability within the economy. The Government plans to spend close to USD 18 billion on program and aims to connect nearly 250,000 villages through Internet by the year 2019. It is also aimed at providing electronic governance as well as connectivity in terms of telephony throughout the country.

IT sector is striding forward

Nasscom has opined that the IT segment would triple the annual revenue and touch a figure of USD 350 billion by the year 2025. As per a report – ‘Perspective 2025: Shaping the digital revolution’ – by McKinsey and Nasscom, the sector is said to be on track and would be growing from USD 132 bn in the year 2015 to USD 225 bn by the year 2020. The surge is expected to reach USD 350 bn by the year 2025. It is estimated that of this, USD 350 bn, most of the parts would be taken by exports, which would be around USD 280 bn.

As per Gartner Inc., with Indian Government increasing its spending on the sector – information technology – specifically on services and products by around 5.2 per cent and would touch USD 6.88 billion by this year, it would create higher avenues for digitally-connecting the country. It would also give immense opportunity for people to connect with the Government through the use of mobile devices.

Further, mobile users in the country are set to double and touch a 300 million mark by the year 2017 from the existing 159 million, as per the Internet and Mobile Association of India – IAMAI and KPMG. This growth is set to make India a prime location in the global arena with regards to Internet markets with more than 50 per cent of people using mobile for connecting to Internet.

Tech giants pledge support for Digital India

Big MNCs and their top executives from Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Qualcomm Inc., as well as Cisco Systems Inc. are keen to join hands with the Government for participating in the Digital India initiative.

Together with this, Indian industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Anil Ambani and Sunil Bharti Mittal have applauded the Government’s initiative on launching the Digital India program. They opined that it has the potential for bridging digital divide as well as give benefits to billions of people in terms of providing healthcare, education, and other facilities. They have pledged nearly INR 4.5 lakh crore or USD 69 billion for the projects that are related to Digital India. This is said to generate employment for nearly 1.8 million people.

  • Qualcomm’s Executive Chairman, Paul Jacobs, stated that his company would like to promote Digital India campaign and would be setting up USD 150 million-fund for fuelling innovation. Further, it would foster start-ups in India who would like to contribute to mobile and Internet ecosystem.
  • Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, opined that his firm would be looking at bringing low-cost Internet into the country. The firm is now working with the researchers for bringing Internet infrastructure at low-cost in the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh. He added that they are now looking at replicating the model they had created in Varanasi and are seeking Government’s approval for expanding it to nearly 5000 villages.
  • Google is looking at enabling nearly 500 railway stations in the country with Wi-Fi.
  • Reliance Industries’ Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, said that they would be investing INR USD 38 billion in various initiatives under the campaign. This would have the potential of creating employment for nearly half a million people in the country. They would be setting up ‘Jio Digital India Start Up Fund’ for encouraging young entrepreneurs who aim to start their businesses around the Digital India initiative.
  • Aditya Birla Group’s Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla would be leveraging the network of around 165 million subscribers in around 350,000 villages and towns in the country for providing education and healthcare services which would be mobile-based. They would also like to provide services based on weather forecasting advisories as well as ‘mandi’ prices for more than one million farmers in India. They are aiming at providing mobile wallet as well as payment bank. With this, they are planning to invest over USD 2 billion in the next five years in areas like energy storage, electronic manufacturing and others.
  • Reliance Group’s Chairman, Anil Ambani, has pledged to invest around USD 1.5 billion for initiatives around cloud, telecom and digital space.
  • Cisco Systems Inc. is planning to increase its investment in the country, and might be looking at locally manufacturing the devices as well.

Government initiatives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for guidelines about spectrum sharing, which was recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India – TRAI. This would be an essential component for Digital India campaign for improving spectral efficiency as well as for providing quality of services.

Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, launched e-Governance initiatives under Digital India Program. Two of these programs – Global Shrimp Price Information over SMS by a missed call and mKRISHI, Mobile App for aquaculture operations – have been developed for mobile phones. These would provide digitally enabled services on demand to aqua farmers.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, communications minister, launched broadband products which were developed by telecom research arm, Centre for Development of Telematics. They developed Wi-Fi products – long distance as well as solar-powered WiFi systems – for resolving connectivity issues that are faced in hilly terrain, rural areas and other areas.

Creating digital footprint

Digital India, considered to be one of the most important initiatives, focuses on giving Internet access to majority of the population in the country by creating infrastructure, providing Government services on mobile phones and on the web. It also aims at promoting digital literacy as well as increasing the capability of electronic manufacturing in the country.

The Government is focused towards creating digitally-connected India by providing greater access of Internet on mobile devices, increasing the broadband network and establishing smart cities. This would help them generating the revenue over a period of time and giving higher access to facilities for companies planning to set-up shop in India.

If you are planning to become a part of the Indian digital revolution, connect with our consultants at

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