Digital technologies are evolving at a fast pace, and Indian customers have strongly embraced them. With millions of people having a smartphone and easy access to the internet, India is one of the fastest-growing markets for digital end-users. The Digital India initiative launched by the government in 2015 has witnessed a continuous upward growth trajectory and achieved a number of milestones. The program was launched with the aim to ensure the delivery of the government’s services through electronic media. Since then, India’s digital infrastructure has become a global case study for modernization and has startled the tech corporates in private sectors worldwide.
If the government and private sector continue to work together to create new digital ecosystems, then we would see the rapid spread of digital technologies and their impact on the Indian economy by 2025. Currently, the Digital India initiative includes plans to build better digital infrastructure in rural areas, make digital services more unified, and take the services to the last mile. The demand for these services was given a significant push when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. It helped expand the use of services in India’s poorer states and narrow the digital gap with wealthier states.
The digital services span across various sectors like digital banking, eHealth, eLearning, insurance, ecommerce, modern manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and more. In E-education, for example, the government has planned to provide high-tech education in remote as well as urban areas using technology like smartphones, internet services, and mobile apps. It includes the deployment of nodal offices and targets all schools with broadband and Wi-Fi available. An initiative to provide quality education in a scalable and affordable manner through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is also being implemented. Such courses are also targeted towards professionals who want to gain digital skills. Many are interested in taking up courses like ITIL training, project management courses, and data science programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to India’s digital reset and allowed it to set the foundations for improved governance. The use of contactless digital technology increased along with one of the highest volumes of digital transactions in the world. The data provided by the Reserve bank of India (RBI) showed that India clocked around 100 million digital transactions per day in 2020 for a volume of Rs 5 trillion, a whopping five times jump from 2016. This figure is expected to reach Rs. 15 trillion a day by 2025. Evidently, it is the foundation of a new mechanism for the delivery of goods and governance.
Using digital tools and technologies will have an impact across various spheres of life, be it lifestyle, access to education, or other services. The rapid roll-out of digital infrastructure will trigger a good response from the private sector so as to realize the Indian government’s vision. Adoption of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics coupled with steady investments from global technology companies will further help the government to develop state of the art digital schemes and systems for the country.
For a country like India, digital initiatives should go hand in hand with strong legislative and administrative frameworks to protect digital interests and rights. The Government of India needs to strengthen its cyber security frameworks and ensure the informational privacy of its citizens. Currently, the government’s focus is on improving digital literacy and accessibility. However, in the future, there will be a need to promote new and emerging digital ecosystems in sectors like energy, agriculture, financial services, education, and logistics.
The Digital India program has so far been a huge success and is poised to witness better outcomes in the years to come. As such, it is important to note that the changes brought by digital adoption will disrupt India’s industries as well as the labor force. McKinsey estimates that around 60 to 65 million new jobs could emerge from the direct and indirect impact of productivity-boosting digital applications. So, existing professionals need to understand that the jobs of the future will be more skill-intensive. It is a good time for individuals to gain marketable skills by taking up online courses and survive in the growing digital world.