The success of India in future is intrinsically linked to its ability to keep pace with technology. The world has seen an unprecedented change in technology landscape in the last decade and innovation has become more important than ever before. Technology can help build a digital India- a knowledge-based society and economy- by empowering, connecting and binding all parts of India.
For India to become a global knowledge hub by 2022- the Diamond Jubilee of our Independence- Innovation, Research and Technology will have to play a major role of being the driver, engine of growth and shining light of Brand India. Innovation and Technology will have to be the enabler for empowerment, equity and efficiency by joining people with governments, bringing them closer to knowledge and bridging the gap between demand and supply. Despite India having become the software services capital of the world, the benefits of Technology have not percolated down. The lack of a proactive political vision in not appreciating the full potential of technology in the last decade is primarily responsible for restricting the spread of Information Technology domestically.
Next Phase of Innovation and Technology Revolution in India
India has a long history of Cultural Innovation driven by necessities. It’s time that we take our Innovations globally and solve societal problems. It is in this context that India must embark upon next phase of Innovation and Technology revolution with renewed vigour. It would be unwise to be satisfied with successes in instalments and not tap the vast potential of Indian Talent. The success and Brand established by the Indian Software Services Industry needs to be leveraged with next wave of “Made In India” Technology, Products and Innovations.
That the BJP has seized upon this opportunity and responded to the aspirations of the country is evident in its Manifesto 2014 that has laid unprecedented emphasis on Innovation and Technology and its cross sector potential.
E-Governance is easy, efficient and empowered Governance and has to become the backbone of Good Governance paradigm. A Digital India -where every household and every individual is digitally empowered – is key to the concept of new age, efficient & incorruptible governance.
This can be made possible by increasing the internet penetration and usage of broadband across the country. Deployment of broadband in every village would be a thrust area. Every district of the vastly diverse India having its own specialities must be digitally integrated by 2022.
Follow the Fiber Policy is another path-breaking proposal that can refurbish the digital outlook of the country. Smart Cities will be developed around Digital Highways. The example of the ‘E-Gram, Vishwa Gram’ scheme in Gujarat, that ensured significant empowerment of the rural population by bridging the Digital Divide between the rural and urban areas by providing e-services to all its villages, is worth emulating across the country. The scheme helped control corruption significantly since all transactions between government and citizens are computerised.
Spurring innovation and research in India is essential in order to reduce dependence on foreign technology. Innovation is an evolving process and there cannot be a stationary blueprint for it. However, the basic pre-requisite for driving innovation is to have 1.2 billion Indians digitally connected through our own technologies and networks.
The BJP Manifesto talks about such path breaking innovations in governance as promotion of e-Bhasha (National Mission for the promotion of IT in Indian Languages), Content digitization of all archives and museums, financial inclusion and participative governance.
The idea of participative governance using social media as an enabler merits a special mention. Today, Social media has the potential to transform all interactions in the public mindscape. They are powerful catalysts that are changing the ways people use technology to interact with the world around them. India must include these interfaces in its governance models and take full advantage of it. Youth, the biggest driver and user of social media, ought to be involved in policy formulation & legislation.
In a country where nearly 70% of the population lives in villages, a significant segment of about 6,50,000 villages do not have a single bank branch, access to quality healthcare, and higher education, BJP has done well to recognise these handicaps and addressed them in its manifesto with the ideas such as National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for use in TeleMedicine, Mobile Healthcare, Massive Open Online Courses and setting up a National e-Library.
As a matter of fact; policy, institutions and market factors will determine the fate of India in coming years. The existing market factors are quite favourable but it now needs a set of ‘good policies’ & ‘good institutions’ under a visionary leadership for building an India of our dreams.
There is an inescapable clamour by the young and capable nation for a proactive and innovative policy framework that goes beyond being stuck in a reactionary mode. The nation is looking up to the new political dispensation that is likely to assume office after the general elections for providing such a visionary roadmap.