Importance of Digital India-industry partnership

Pradeep Chakraborty
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DQ Conclave

The next session was on the importance of Digital India-industry partnership. Arvind Gupta, Co-Founder and Head, Digital India Foundation, was in conversation with Som Satsangi, Senior VP & MD, HPE India.


Gupta said this has been a 10-year journey. It has three components: providing cheap, access to digital highway, and falling cost of data. From a rank of 155, we have moved up to among the top countries. We also have to provide literacy and instruments. Today, we also export mobiles, and become a net exporter. We also brought in digital literacy. There is at least one digitally connected person in each Indian household. Now, it is going to the next level. Also, $1 trillion of India's GDP will come from rural.

Gupta said digital connectivity at a household is about 90-95%, and 99% for banking. In India, every month, 400 million people transact over UPI. About 800 million people transact over mobile. Digital India is all about inclusion. We are doing 15,000 million transactions per month now. It is enabled by private participation. Digital public infrastructure has been a huge success story. It gives equal access to all, and frugal innovation. The same principles are being applied to e-commerce. India will go ahead and do what is right for it.

With semiconductors, you are going to require lot of skills. Same is the case with AI. Startups and educational institutes can also develop their own streams. 25% of AI code is written in India. You are writing for somebody else. This brain bank will shift to solving Indian problems. It will also happen across AI and semiconductors. We currently have challenges in research and talent.

Cyber security is also ranked quite high today, alongside AI, supply chain, etc. It is also a geopolitical tool. We are also in an exciting geopolitical location. So far, we have not had many big incidents. The digital public infrastructure built, by design, has layers of security.

How can India become a digital superpower by 2047? Gupya noted three models are now emerging. One, technology for profit. Two, technology for surveillance. Third, trusted technology model for development, followed by India. It has caught the attention of about 150 countries. India is also a talent hub for the world. We need to start doing more value-added work. The industry's role has to understand that India now has a leadership role in development. The industry is committed to do this even more. India's deeptech capability is well funded. We have several missions also going on. We have spacetech, deeptech, AI,  semiconductors, and quantum.