India to be $22 billion low-cost digital tech hub by 2022: Govt

India to be $22 billion low-cost digital tech hub by 2022: Govt
In a move aimed at giving a fillip to Indian information technology (IT) industry, the government on Friday outlined its vision for building the country a hub of low-cost digital technology. Both, the government and industry agreed to build the digital economy to the tune of $ 1 trillion by 2022. However, industry honchos present on the occasion were confident of meeting the government target before 2022.

Dismissing the reports about the slowdown in the industry, Union Minister for IT & Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "There has been a lot of debate, and by any standards of economy, this talk of job decline in the IT sector is motivated. The IT has been the country's biggest employer in the last decades, employing 40 lakh people directly and about 1.3 lakh crore indirectly."

"It has been projected that the Digital Economy will generate 30 million employment by 2024-25, which is double than the current scenario. Electronics, Telecom and IT/ITeS sector would be the top three contributors with 8.9 million, 8.8 million and 6.5 million of jobs respectively, followed by e-commerce with 6 million, cyber security with 2.5 million, sharing economy with 2.3 million, CSCs with 2 million and start-ups and IoT with 0.5 million jobs in each sector," the minister said while releasing the blueprint to realise a $1 trillion IT economy.

The minister also said that e-commerce is set to grow 19-fold in generating employment, followed by 500 per cent each in start-ups and IT allied sector.

Prasad cited the National Association of Software and Services Companies' (NASSCOM) recent report that said that in the last three years, almost 6 lakh people have been employed in the IT sector, while in 2016-17, the number of people employed was around 1.7 lakh.

The Nasscom report also said that 2.5-3 million new jobs will be created by 2025, while refuting reports that 6 lakh Indian IT professionals are likely to lose their jobs in the next three years.
Prasad noted that it already being an industry with an estimated worth of $400-450 billion, Indian IT would not take long to became a $1 trillion industry.

Hailing the initiatives of the government, industry leaders suggested that better dispute resolution mechanisms for PPP projects, promoting emerging technologies like cloud, big data, GIS, AI, etc through industry collaboration, strengthening the legal framework for data security were some of the key areas where government need to take reform measures for implementing the roadmap.
Dhirendra Kumar

Dhirendra Kumar

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