Over the past decade, India has shown great promise and proved leadership in digital technologies. Today, India showcases a digital economy that has the biggest potential for global market players. This ‘Indian digital revolution’ is anticipated to create new growth opportunities in jobs and businesses sector over the next few decades.
As a new world order, entrepreneurship is out, and technopreneurship is in. A technopreneur must take risks, mobilize resources, gain expertise in his chosen line and master intricacies of technology he wants to advance and profit from his enterprise. A successful technopreneur will pioneer a digital revolution.
Indian Government Initiative
India’s initiative in the digital technologies has been an enabler and has fuelled its economy to turn it into a major growth facilitator. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ program promises a huge boost to the digital revolution in India. Key areas that have been positively impacted by this program are:
- Digital empowerment of citizens
The main objective of the Digital India program is to empower all parts of the country even the rural regions with digital literacy. The first step is to improve their digital connectivity with high-speed internet networks and WiFi-enabled villages.
The ICT (Information and Communications Technology) programme ensured that high-speed internet connectivity reached every village by 2016.
Cities with over 10 lakh population were provided with WiFi hotspots for public use.
All schools were connected via broadband, and free WiFi was provided to secondary schools.
- Provide digital infrastructure as a service to every citizen
Availability of open source software, local language computing, and enterprise solutions for creating ‘smart’ cities or villages is a big step towards this initiative.
The Indian government has recently announced 98 smart cities and has allocated Rs. 48,000 CR as the budget for building smart cities.
- Governance and services on demand
Every sector like education, infrastructure, and healthcare is being affiliated with the digital revolution and reaping benefits from it.
DetY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology) has developed a online registration system as a part of the e-hospital project for online registration, appointment, fees payment, access of reports and so on.
e-Kranti is a tool that provides electronic delivery of services to all citizens.
The MyGov platform is designed to help citizens become partners with government in nation building and assist in policy formation.
- Effect of demonetization on digital payments
India is now one of the world leaders in payment system technologies. Programs like Jan Dhan, Aadhar, mobile services and recent demonetization have favored adaptation to digital payment systems on a large scale.
e-Sign facility for digitally signing documents and digital locker for storing and sharing digital documents.
Digital Revolution in Indian Banking Sector
Banks upgraded to Local Area Network Connectivity from just being standalone PCs for a long time. With technological advancement, Core Banking was adopted with no more dependence on particular branches. Customers could then conveniently perform ‘Anywhere Anytime’ banking.
Examples of platforms used in core banking are BaNCS by TCS, Finacle by Infosys and Flexcube by i-Flex.
Numerous commercial banks have introduced digital customer service for easy accessibility and convenience. E-banking has brought about significant cost reduction in performing bank transactions. Human error has diminished to a great extent because of digitization.
Banks like Axis, ICICI, HDFC are implementing robotics to provide centralized services like loan processing and selling.
More than 75% of chequebooks requests happen digitally.
Axis bank has more than 1,500 cash deposit machines.
Telecom and Technology’s role in digitization
Telecom and technology has now become accessible to every nook and corner of the country. India now boasts of almost 100% telecom ingress, and its people have gladly accepted new technology adoption.
This telecommunication boom has catalyzed for the citizens to realize their ambitions and dreams. The telecom and technology industry has enabled key payment solutions such as:
- Mobile wallets that can be used for paying bills or purchasing goods.
- United Payment Interface (UPI) has made money transfers over phone safe and secure.
- Micro ATMs have been successfully deployed where full-fledged ATMs could not be established.
- Telecommunications has been the secret enabler for uninterrupted connectivity and smooth communication between banks and financial institutions. It has aided apps that perform digital payments to be successfully implemented.
- Technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and Big data empowered by digitization empower the economy and make it more productive.
Challenges that lie ahead for Digital Transformation
Slow and delayed infrastructure could pose as a major hurdle for providing high-speed data connectivity. Digital divide should be overcome to improve rural area reach.
For the masses to warm to the digital revolution, IT literacy is essential.
With easy access to data comes threat of financial data security. Data susceptibility and phishing attacks are always a concern in large-scale financial transactions.
Public and private partnerships should be adopted by technology companies to promote modernization in a digital economy.
To lean on its historical past and leverage on its IT competencies, India needs to use digital services further in public services, financial technologies, and trading mechanisms.
Progressive digital solutions can be applied even to solve most challenging problems of the country thereby helping it emerge as a prolific economy globally.
LSI Keywords: Digital economy, digitization, technology, telecommunication, digital revolution, Digital India, digital connectivity, data security, high-speed connectivity, IT literacy, digital services.