NEW DELHI: Gone are the days when people had to wait days or months for letters, money or news. Now information worldwide is just a click away. This was a pre-pandemic concept, but the post-pandemic era has seen a massive global economic shift towards digital technology. The first Capital Dialogue, presented by the Sunday Guardian Foundation in association with The Sunday Guardian newspaper and the NewsX channel, opened with an insightful discussion of the journey of India’s digital economy by the Union’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and the Minister of State for the Union for Skills Opens Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The Capital Dialogue takes place once a month.
In an insightful and interactive session with Prof. MD Nalapat and Priya Sahgal, the Minister shared that India has played a leading role in today’s digital economy. With technological advances, India is not far from great achievements in digital expansion. The acceleration in the digital economy over the past two and a half years has made India a major player. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of reaching at least 20% of total GDP by 2025-2026 for our digital economy, which currently accounts for 6% to 8% of the overall economy. In addition to government incentives and programs, the drive and commitment of young entrepreneurs is critical to fostering a resilient digital economy.
Highlighting India’s path towards digital growth, the minister said, “In 2014, the total electronics production in India was Rs 1 lakh crores and by 2025-2026 we will reach Rs 26 lakh crores, a growth 26 times the.” span of a decade. In addition, 66% of all foreign direct investments in the electronics industry have been made in the last 3 years. After 2018, the flow of investment into manufacturing began. From 2014 to 2018, we made a mark in the ecosystem, slowly rebuilding the ecosystem and signaling to the world that we have the skills and credentials to build an electronic ecosystem.”
Successful first-generation entrepreneurs and investors have a renewed confidence. The introduction of 5G in India has also had a significant impact on the transformation of digital India.
“During the 2G, 3G or 4G network era, as an entrepreneur, I saw that every element of the network was imported, including the screw or screwdriver imported by a French or European company; But with 5G, India is making a statement that Indian products, designs and IP are homegrown in the wireless technology of the future. This is an achievement for Indian technology,” he said.
There has been a big shift between the perception of India before and after Covid. India will soon have a semiconductor ecosystem, however it may take time due to integrated design, manufacturing, packaging and verification. With a significant stimulus of Rs 76,000 crore (US$10 billion), India is said to have a semiconductor factory.
On unemployment, the minister said: “From 2017 to 2020 (pre-Covid) unemployment fell steadily to 5%. The pandemic has disrupted the economy and workforce. The entire global segment was severely impacted by the pandemic due to the travel restrictions. The hospitality sector and the services associated with the hospitality industry, a huge engine of employment, have now left lasting scars due to Covid. These figures are recorded in the unemployment sector. Some nations have seen a post-Covid economic recovery, but that recovery is not the same as before the disaster. Some areas have grown faster and others have not. These issues cannot be addressed quickly, but sectors such as hospitality are slowly recovering.” Last year nearly 10,000 net new jobs were created in the technology sector, where 54% of the workforce were women due to emerging opportunities. The Periodic Labor Force Survey negates the currently increasing self-employment and entrepreneurship. Compared to countries such as China, the USA or Great Britain, India performs well in the economic area.
The qualification ecology has also been improved, and in the coming days the focus will be on the local economy to create employment prospects. The minister stressed that there will be specific skill plans for each area depending on local opportunities and district needs, such as crafts, agriculture, non-agriculture and migration opportunities within the nation and overseas district.
The core element of Atmanirbharta is that every country aspires to be a leader in the world because of its resources. Atmanirbharta’s expansion into electronics and digital industries was envisioned as early as 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and as a result, the Indian economy weathered the global financial crisis with relative ease. In terms of incentives and safeguards for semiconductor protection obligations, India will play a major role in global semiconductor value chains in the future. As we grow in size, our aim will be to promote value creation from India. Purchases of locally made components, semiconductors, local manufacturing and other activities are all indicators of appreciation.