The concept Digital India has two distinct flavours, of which one is a continuous acceleration, amplification of ongoing expansion plans. When the PM announced umbrella ‘Digital India’ programme last year, it gave an extra impetus to direction and vision. The second flavour, which is distinctly interesting for industry partners, is the idea of very specific, well-defined, improved substantial transformation projects like ‘Smart City’.
When we talk about smart cities specific to verticals like water management, waste management, etc., it renders a clear idea about the project, because the industry needs clarity. If you give the industry a problem statement, unless you define it well, it becomes very difficult for them to execute.
One of the biggest challenges or opportunities is the nine pillars of Digital India — the nine broad areas that the Government of India plans to digitise, budgetise and expand in the coming five years. My experience, when I meet secretaries and chief ministers of states, has been that of lack of clarity on who is going to put fronts together.
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For example, recently, Intel worked closely with the Chhattisgarh Government’s nodal agencies, where we have done some distribution of devices that helps in giving instruction and education. I believe that there should be some sort of tracking in case of these devices; not with the intent of privacy intuition, but with the idea of tracking how these whole devices are used.
We worked with some of the key mobile device software solution partners and were happy to find that these devices had some good quality content and are extremely price competitive, given the fact that governments and states have very limited budget. After the intense ground research on these devices, we are given this feedback that the students are able to grow their skills, they are now employable.
Another major hint by the industry is the ecosystem management, because the government conceives any policy with a lot of good intent behind it, but it gets critical unless it is determined on how it gets the policy executed.