Digital India has the potential to transform lives of the people in India was the consensus at the Digital India Summit & Awards 2016.


The event, organized by Times Network, saw the presence of ministers and industry stalwarts, who shared views on how Digital India is seen as a step towards achieving the goal of transforming India into a digitally-empowered economy. 

Minister for Communication and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was among the speakers, said, “I pushed postal service to go digital because postal service digitisation is integral to Digital India. The first thing we pushed was core banking solutions, which means banking from anywhere. We have 25,000 district and sub-post offices that are needed to be digitised. When I became minister, only 230 post offices had core banking. Today, 20,494 post offices have come under core banking solution and we will complete the remaining by April.”

According to statistics, the Digital India programme has the potential to add 20-30 per cent of incremental GDP growth in the next 10 years.

In a plenary session, McKinsey India Managing Director Noshir Kaka said, “In perspective, ‘Digital India’ is ‘Make in India’. It is 2.5 times the IT and ITeS industry in terms of the impact it has on the country. I am pleased that the government has taken this up because if they want to transform the lives of people in India, there is no better way to do that than empowerment through technology.”

The Digital India programme has completed nearly two years. Assessing the success of some of the government’s initiatives on this front, BJP-IT Cell National Head Arvind Gupta shared, “This is the best time to talk about this as we are on the verge of celebrating the second anniversary of the digital government, which is probably the first digital government of the country. We have seen the investment in electronics sector from Rs 11,000 crore go up to 10 times to about Rs 1,10,000 crore. There are 11 crore handsets that are being made in India. The number of startups in India has quadrupled. And we can well see the outcome of all these.”

Times Internet Managing Director Satyan Gajwani, taking part in a panel discussion, called the Digital India programme a wonderful effort, saying it would drive the Indian economy in the next 10-20 years. “In most markets around the world, the primary role of the government has been to enable digital access as openly and cost-effectively as possible.”

Sharing his views on how India is trying to develop a capable digital workforce, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, “It would surprising for many of us to know 80 per cent of the BPO jobs are restricted to just eight cities. That is one million jobs in eight cities. Now the government has allocated 45,000 seats for the rural BPOs, out of which 5,000 seats are just for the north-eastern region. This is to encourage talent in rural areas and facilitate jobs for them. Digitisation is truly the way to go and the government is doing its bit to streamline as many services as possible through the digital way.

When it comes to hiring of talent with respect to digitisation, there is a gap, especially in terms of participation of women in the workforce.

On this, Times Business Solutions COO Vivek Madhukar said, “There is a definite shortage of right talent but the question is how this gap should be bridged. If we look at the overall situation, we have just 10-12 per cent women in the workforce. Even in IT space, the percentage of women range between 10-20 per cent at different levels. Similarly, almost 70 per cent of white-collared professionals are employed in the top eight metros. The rest of the country really does not have employment to that level right now. The question here is: Can technology be used to distribute work and can people be made to work out of their hometowns at a central level? This is an unexploited potential. It can lower the cost and unlock manpower we have not really utilised as of now.”

The sessions were followed by Digital India Awards 2016, given out to leaders whose initiatives have contributed to the event’s objectives to help the country on the path to transform business processes and improve delivery of public services.

Source : Gizmodo