" This low-ranking is due to our governance being neither participatory nor service-oriented. The policy-making is also not analytics driven resulting in lack of transparency, Srivastava pointed out."
New Delhi, Aug 26 - India's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry Tuesday pledged to offer solutions to turn India digital, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address to the nation Aug 15.

We will innovate and offer the most advanced integrated technological solutions required by the government to achieve the prime minister's vision of a digital India, Genpact founder Pramod Bhasin said at a conference on 'ICT innovations for Next Generation', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The National Democratic Alliance government's Digital India programme envisions the setting up of an ICT infrastructure, including high-speed internet at all 2.5-lakh gram panchyats across the country to provide state-run services like education and health and digital literacy to citizens.

To complement the programme, we have to develop solutions which integrate data analytics, GIS (graphic information systems) and biometrics to enhance governance, strengthen education, healthcare, transportation, physical and cyber security and public delivery systems to the last mile for improving the standard of life in urban and rural areas, Bhasin said.

Asserting that the ambitious programme could be accomplished only through the public-private partnership (PPP) model, he said the project would involve providing last mile connectivity to a whopping 635,000 villages, 250,000 local bodies, 6,000 blocks and 672 districts, 1.2 million state-run schools, 50,000 public and rural libraries, 100,000 departments and public agencies.

We need to execute and manage the desired projects with out-of-box solutions so as to reduce the high cost of bandwidth, which is four times more than in China, Bhasin observed.

Though the government has identified broadband and mobile networks as the backbone for the project, he said the industry would have to improve the processes, remove capacity constraints and adopt efficient operational models by leveraging emerging technologies such as cloud, social media, analytics and mobility.

We should replicate countries like Brazil, China and Singapore in creating Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) zones across cities and villages by roping in thousands of start-ups willing to take risks.

We also need to create an enabling ecosystem for allowing young entrepreneurs to chip in. If we support them with proactive policies and incubators, they can create cutting-edge solutions, Bhasin observed.

The project, estimated to cost a whopping Rs.1 lakh crore (Rs.1 trillion) will transform the country into a digitally empowered and connected knowledge economy.

Citing India's ranking in a UN survey on e-governance, Steria India Ltd chairman Saurabh Srivastava lamented that in spite of having the third largest internet user base, the country languishes at 124th position among 190 countries.

This low-ranking is due to our governance being neither participatory nor service-oriented. The policy-making is also not analytics driven resulting in lack of transparency, Srivastava pointed out.

As 75 percent of new internet users and 50 percent of netizens are active only on mobile phones, it is imperative for the ICT industry to innovate applications and solutions specific to the new generation of mobile users for viewing on small screens.


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