Technology trends

STPI Foundation Day: Emerging technologies and innovation, rechristening narratives of Indian IT industry

There was a session on the emerging technologies and innovation, and rechristening the narratives of the Indian IT industry at the 29th STPI Foundation Day.

Jaswinder Ahuja, Corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems, said that the landscape is changing. Today, there are over 150 companies looking at process architectures. With the emergence of 5G, there are concerns regarding latency, etc. The paradigm of the intelligent edge is coming up. It is also about Industry 4.0, robots, drones, etc. All of these things are tied together very closely.

We are also viewing a growing focus on systems. It is a very interesting time to see design starts, despite Covid-19. There is a rise of new categories of products and requirements. These are all global trends. And, everything includes India! There are no established market leaders right now, in many of these cases. The playing field is wide open. It is an opportunity and challenge for India. You need to have differentiation to build a global product.

Focus on AI
Ms. Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India, said that it has been a challenge in this pandemic. However, we are no longer anxious about it. How does it relate to technology? Well, every single technology has now got an acceleration. There are segments like education, heathcare, workplace of future, gaming, entertainment, etc., that have all become so very important. A lot of push and acceleration has happened. There are some foundational technologies that will also accelerate.

A lot of the way we live will be either e or tele. A lot of data will be acted upon. Cloud will become important. There may be some requirement of data that would need immediate action. Edge will also come into play. All of this will require a lot of AI. AI is still on the tip of the iceberg. The true powers of AI will be in smart mobility, healthcare, etc. AI will be a pervasive technology. People also talk about unstructured data. We are a very data-rich country. All of that is becoming a strength for us. We are already used to the pandemic. We now need turn this pandemic around into an opportunity. We are looking to partnering with 28 CoEs that STPI has.

Cloud will be key
Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor, mentioned that there are brave creators. 50% of services that we had 10 years ago are no longer there. The created technologies are for everybody’s use. There are thoughts that inspire innovation. Eg., autonomous drones, AR/VR, smartphone film making, etc. This is going to be the infrastructure of the future. We are using gaming technology for creating The Lion King. That is the computing power no other industry uses. The IT/ITeS industry will now use these new technologies.

What is the big opportunity for STPI? It has been goo7d at creating communities for serving market needs. Cloud is the tool that will be important. Biotech industry is right now in scaling. The CoEs can play a phenomenal role in designing the chips of the future. A cloud-based alliance is requir7ed for STPI.

People expect service delivery
Santosh Kumar Misra, Commissioner e-Governance, Government of Tamil Nadu and CEO, Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), noted that there is a silver lining in the cloud, particularly for the goverment. Courts are now looking at video conferencing, as a way of demolishing barriers. Earlier, WFH was never accepted as a valid work option. Today, it is the norm.

We were all cash guys, prior to demonetization. Then, we were forced to move to the digital world. This is an opportunity that we need to capitalize on. The scales are mind boggling. New generation has not accepted the ways of the government. They are asking: you already have the information. They have a very different level of service expectations from the government. Later, this became the Chief Minister’s announcement. Why don’t we do public service delivery? People are expecting service delivery that is different from their predecessors. In Tamil Nadu, we also have a good health system. At least 99% data is captured. We give the people their immunization schedule as well.

There is also a problem of unstructured data. Usability is a very big issue. These are the challenges and opportunities. BharatNet is a very ambitious project. When we talk about institutional deliveries, it changes the landscape of the government delivery. NLP is a key area. It will have the power to change people. We need to bridge the vernacular gap. We also have set up a CoE in Tamil Nadu. We are using blockchain, AI, etc. It should be used for creating a blockchain highway. We would invite Intel to be a partner with our CoE.

Industry 4.0 must
Ajai Chowdhary, Founder Member of HCL and currently, Chairman, Board of Governors at IIT Patna and Chairman, IIIT Naya Raipur, stated that innovation has triumphed! We created a ventilator in 8 weeks. Many more innovations have taken place. Innovation and entrepreneurship are deeply connected. We have seen lot of hardware innovations happen. This should be continued by STPI in future.

There are so many patents in the Electropreneur Park in Delhi. I see phenomenal growth in IoT. We will also need very high level of computing. We need quantum computing. You will see quantum cyber security products coming in. Voice technology will become big, in multiple languages. You need to enter villages using voice. Many chat bots will be created in multiple languages. Every thing will get measured remotely. Startups can create devices that can measure remotely. This will also help the doctors.

Many years ago, I talked about access to all. Today, we are seeing it in a different way. 5G will make this happen. Autonomous cars will take off. There are many innovations using the India stack for PhonePe. We need a very large and deep healthcare system. The health stack is being developed. The Industry 4.0 impact will get deeper and deeper into the country. India is looking to get electronics manufacturing into India. There will be use of Industry 4.0 across industries. If we need to be competitive, Industry 4.0 will play a huge role. The industry needs to look at Industry 4.0 in a very big way.

Data quality
Anand Deshpande, Founder and Chairman, Persistent Systems, said that many different people have come together and are working in this pandemic. Decision making and actionable insights will become part of what we do. Data quality is a big part of what we are doing. Also, data privacy. India needs to think about data policies as well. The data we have in India can be used very effectively.

Next, we are looking at biology. Third, small businesses. They are about innovation and creating livelihood. Government can be a market for small businesses. We also want to do some real work. We need to look at research and R&D to solve our own problems. Once we do that, we will also become self reliant. Atma Nirbhar Bharat can only happen once we start doing all of this.

Session 3

Subodh Sachan, Director, STPI, was the moderator.

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