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By VARINDIA    2018-07-11

Digital revolution will transform India

A slew of digital initiatives will improve governance through e-payments, e-health, digital literacy and financial inclusion


India is a country that has manoeuvred its way through tough times and hurdles; sometimes slowly, often rapidly, but always moving forward.


Since 2014, a slew of policy measures like Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, Startup India, and ‘Smart Cities’ have been unveiled, while working to remove bureaucratic red tape and make the country more investor-friendly.


At the heart of it, most of these efforts were aimed at ushering in transformation in governance and accelerating socio-economic development - both through the optimum use of reliable networks, widespread connectivity and intelligent technologies, including digital disruptors like the cloud. The very acceptance of the need for a digital facelift for India and the slow, yet steady steps in the right direction will make India the ‘mitochondria’ of the world.


With India’s GDP bouncing back to a growth rate of 7.2 per cent, it has once again become the fastest growing economy in the world.


India is experiencing a digital revolution that is triggering transformative changes in areas like e-payments, e-health, digital literacy, farming, financial inclusion, geographic mapping, rural development, social benefits programmes, language localisation, and much more.


Challenges abound


For a geography as vast and diverse as India, it is not surprising that challenges abound. However, the resilience of our economy, how we transform these challenges into opportunities and the collective resolve of its citizens to overcome roadblocks, have made India a force to reckon with.


With a median age that is the lowest among comparable major economies, our large workforce is a considerable asset. As our working age grows, it will spur savings and investments and further strengthen our economic competitiveness.


A young and diverse workforce also means more innovative minds. Therefore, India must leverage technology to effectively teach and train people, increase efficiencies and keep its entrepreneurial spirit burning. India’s diversity is also creating opportunities for women in technology, and as a corporate citizen of India, we continue to invest in science and technology to provide excellence in education to India’s young students.


Another driving force story is the mass migration to urban areas. This has created a huge demand for infrastructure, particularly roads, transportation, buildings and next-gen digital infrastructure. In an increasingly interconnected economy, India’s cities will become the hotspots that will drive growth and spawn a new generation of industries around them.


The adoption of technologies like cloud platforms and applications has contributed significantly to our digital momentum. The Make in India and Digital India programmes have already adopted cloud and other digital disruptors to help build a modern and inclusive nation. The cloud is an obvious fit for rapidly emerging economies like India as it helps remove barriers to expensive technology, creating opportunities for new services and products while encouraging small businesses, start-ups and non-profit organisations.


Further, it enables collaboration and knowledge-sharing between academia, the business world, NGOs and the vast swathes of the Indian population that will most benefit from it - our farmers, rural entrepreneurs and artisans.


New and emerging technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and blockchain are permeating into nation-building.


India has leapfrogged more mature markets to embrace new technology, as demonstrated by the adoption of mobile communications, smart phones and apps. We have also made significant strides in moving towards a cashless economy. Moreover, India has also been a consistent source of intellectual capital, especially in technology, strengthening our case to take Make in India to the world. Engineers across the nation are developing next-generation software that powers some of the world’s most successful and innovative businesses and ideas.


As India moves forward, in all seriousness, to becoming a vital engine of the world economy, we are on the brink of a transformative opportunity for the country to achieve global leadership.


This is the time for cooperative and collaborative decision-making with our eyes firmly on the goal of bringing real change for our people and making India a true world leader.


The writer is Regional Managing Director, Oracle India

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