Inclusivity is not just an ideal; it's an imperative

Explore how digital innovation led by Pramod Guttal, COO of Applied Systems India, is shaping India's path to self-reliance and inclusivity.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update

In an interview, Pramod Guttal, Chief Operating Officer at Applied Systems India, discusses the pivotal role of digital innovation in propelling India's journey towards self-reliance, encapsulated by the vision of "AtmaNirbhar Bharat." Guttal highlights the transformative impact of technology on economic growth, reducing import dependency, and fostering self-reliance through initiatives like "Digital India." Furthermore, he emphasizes how digital tools have empowered SMEs, enabling them to compete on the global stage, ultimately diminishing reliance on foreign products and services. Here, Guttal expounds on the multifaceted contributions of digitalization to India's economic sovereignty and inclusive progress.



Pramod Guttal COO Applied Systems 11zon

Pramod Guttal COO Applied Systems

How has digital innovation contributed to India's journey towards becoming AtmaNirbhar (self-reliant)?


Digital innovation has been a cornerstone of India's path towards "AtmaNirbhar Bharat." It has underpinned economic growth while significantly reducing our dependence on imports. Through government initiatives like "Digital India," we've actively promoted digital literacy, connectivity, and widespread access to essential services, fostering self-reliance. Additionally, digital tools have empowered our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enabling them to compete globally and diminishing our reliance on foreign products and services.

What role has technology played in empowering citizens and promoting inclusivity in the digital democracy?

Technology has played a pivotal role in democratizing access to information and government services, effectively promoting inclusivity in our digital democracy. Initiatives such as e-governance and Aadhaar have streamlined access to subsidies, welfare schemes, and financial services, particularly benefiting marginalized communities. Mobile technology has been instrumental in bridging the digital divide, extending the reach of our digital democracy to even the remotest areas of our nation. This has empowered citizens to actively participate, express their opinions, and access government information.


Can you highlight any specific initiatives or projects that showcase India's advancements in digital governance?

India has led the way with several pioneering digital governance initiatives, including Aadhaar, the world's most extensive biometric identification system, which has set a global benchmark. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) stands out as a revolutionary digital payments platform that promotes financial inclusion.

GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) has streamlined tax collection and compliance through digitization, modernizing the tax system. The BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) mobile app has emerged as a user-friendly tool, simplifying digital payments for millions of users. Additionally, e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) has transformed the agricultural landscape by providing an online marketplace that has significantly benefited our farmers and promoted fair trade practices.


How do you see the future of digital democracy in India, and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead?

The future of digital democracy in India is encouraging, yet not without its challenges. We see opportunities to enhance transparency, strengthen citizen engagement, and deliver government services more efficiently. However, challenges such as addressing privacy concerns, tackling cybersecurity threats, and ensuring digital inclusion, particularly in rural areas, must be carefully navigated. Emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence hold the potential to further elevate our digital democracy, albeit with the need for robust regulatory frameworks.

In what ways has digitalization improved government-citizen interactions and services in India?


Digitalization has ensured round-the-clock access to government services, making them available whenever needed. Moreover, by streamlining bureaucratic processes and bolstering e-governance, digitalization has improved efficiency and played a vital role in reducing corruption. The implementation of efficient online grievance redressal mechanisms has empowered citizens to voice their concerns effectively. Furthermore, digital record-keeping has increased transparency and accountability within the government, fostering trust among citizens. Lastly, the introduction of seamless online platforms has simplified tax filing and compliance procedures, making them more accessible and user-friendly for the populace.

How has the concept of AtmaNirbhar Bharat influenced the strategies and goals?

The AtmaNirbhar Bharat concept has impacted our strategies and goals, transcending multiple sectors. Government initiatives such as "Make in India" and "Vocal for Local" have significantly reduced our reliance on imports while fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. This has been pivotal in prioritizing domestic capabilities and driving robust economic growth.