IT industry excited about government's 'Digital India' plan: Nasscom

Digital-IndiaSeeking a deeper engagement in the 'Digital India' initiative, IT industry body Nasscom today said it plans to hold a roundtable with government officials to discuss the role that the over $ 100 billion industry can play in implementing the ambitious plan.

The Cabinet yesterday approved the ambitious 'Digital India' programme, which aims to connect all gram panchayats by broadband Internet, promote e-governance and transform India into a connected knowledge economy.

"This is a welcome move and we believe there is a huge opportunity for India to use disruptive technologies to redefine paradigms for delivery of services like education and financial inclusion.

We have written to the government, requesting them for a roundtable to how the government can leverage the Indian IT industry in implementing this vision of a digital India," Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar told PTI.

He added that the industry members are "very excited" about the opportunities that would be available as part of the initiative.

Under the programme, various projects worth about Rs 1 lakh crore would be undertaken to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.

"There are three million professionals employed by the IT industry, while the number is around 10,000 for the government. Private sector will have to work with the government in making the vision become a reality," he said.

The programme, to be be implemented in phases till 2018, would ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the technology.

It would include creation of ICT infrastructure like high speed Internet at gram panchayat level, on demand availability of government services like health, education etc, and digital empowerment of citizens specially through digital literacy.

Lauding the efforts, Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan said the initiative will radically transform India's digital landscape.

This is a much-needed initiative and this will help in not only bridging the digital divide but also empowering the citizens of the country, he added.

Digital India has the potential to transform the existing Public Service Delivery system, improve productivity, create jobs and induce economic activity in areas which were not digital connected, PwC India Executive Director (Government and Public Sector) Rakesh Kaul said.

"All this is possible by overcoming barriers of siloed implementations, non-availability of robust last mile connectivity, processes improvements, capacity constraints, efficient operational models and by leveraging the emerging technologies like Cloud, Social Media, Analytics and mobility," Kaul added.

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