The Indian government hopes a technology-driven future can unlock massive economic potential
In recent months, the Indian government has made some rapid strides in the science and information technology (IT) sector, especially in the emerging areas of artificial intelligence (AI), Quantum computing, cybersecurity.
Faced with multiple challenges both internally and externally, the Indian think-tank feels IT can make a meaningful difference. Whether it is healthcare, agriculture, education, mobility, climate change, sustainable development — the government hopes a technology-driven future can unlock massive economic potential and propel growth.
In the midst of growing concerns in India and the rest of the world over malicious cyber activities from non-friendly countries, cybersecurity also becomes an extremely important aspect.
Information Technology is not new in India, the sector has increased its contribution to India’s GDP from 1.2% in 1998 to 8% in 2019. According to industry body NASSCOM, the sector aggregated revenues of US$180 billion in 2019 and is growing by over 13%. As of 2020, India’s IT workforce accounts for 4.36 million employees.
The potential was always there, but it is refreshing to see such a massive focus on science and technology coming from the government in the last 6 months or so, here are few developments if you have missed noticing.
- In June 2020, India and Australia signed a pact on cyber affairs and critical technology and decided to invest $12.7 million in technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and robotics for the next four years.
- In the same month, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union, have joined together to create the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay). The partnership is formed to support the responsible and human-centric development and use of AI in a manner consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms
- In July 2020, India signed an agreement with Isreal on cybersecurity to deal with cyber threats amid rapid digitization that has exposed the vulnerabilities of the virtual world.
- In October 2020, a month-long summit is organized in collaboration with academic organizations to bring Indian luminaries in academic institutes and R&D Organisations across the world. The idea is to debate on the collaboration mechanisms and methods to strengthen the science & technology in India.
- A few days later, a Global Artificial Intelligence virtual summit — Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE 2020) is organized by the Government of India in partnership with Industry & Academia. The agenda of the virtual summit is to discuss the potential of artificial intelligence for promoting public goods across domains, such as health, education, mobility, agriculture, etc.
- In October 2020, India and Japan finalized an agreement on cyber-security to boost cooperation on 5G, AI, and IoT. The proposed agreement will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development, and security and resilience in critical information infrastructure.