Budget 2023: India to invest in new-age digital technologies

The announcements are expected to drive digitisation and increase the country’s employment potential

Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman presented her fifth Budget speech in Parliament today.

The FM stated that the budget envisions a prosperous and inclusive India where the efforts of development reach all regions and citizens. She said that this budget focuses on the seven areas viz. inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector.

This article lists the announcements around technology and what it means for the tech industry.

Eyeing AI: Making it work for India
The FM announced that the Centre will create three centres of excellence (CoE) to boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India. These CoEs will be created in top Indian institutions in partnership with the industry.

“We need to ensure that we make AI in India and make AI work for India,” the FM said.
CoEs will lead to AI-driven skill-development and will be used to develop innovative applications in agriculture, healthcare, sustainable cities etc. “This will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field,” the FM said.

DigiLocker: One stop for identity and address updating
DigiLocker has been the government’s initiative to provide a Digital wallet to every citizen where one can store their documents (educational, identity, health records, etc.)

The FM said that DigiLocker will now become a one-stop solution for the reconciliation and updating of identities and addresses of individuals maintained by various government agencies, regulators and regulated entities will be established using DigiLocker service and Aadhaar as foundational identity.

Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies. This will enable ease of doing business.

Expansion of Digi locker services to the Fintech sector will be a great boost for individuals, banks, and financial institutions to store and share data online in a secure and faster manner.

An Entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by MSMEs, large businesses, and charitable trusts. This will be towards storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed, with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other business entities.

The FM said that it plans to create 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services. These will be set up in engineering institutions to tap new opportunities, business models, and employment potential.

“The labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and health care applications,” the FM said.

National Data Governance Policy
The FM said that a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out to unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia. This will enable access to anonymized data.

E-courts: Enabling the Indian Judiciary
For efficient administration of justice and to fast-track the judicial process, phase 3 of the E-Courts project will be launched with an outlay of INR 7,000 crore.

ET Insights opinion:
There is push for research in fields like 5G services, AI, and agriculture.

Make AI in India could create a highly skilled workforce.

National Data Governance Policy (when it takes shape and form) will improve ease of use and access to quality data. This will also lead to improving the KYC process and enable data-led inclusive development.

5G labs to benefit healthcare and education, increase the digitization drive.

There is no announcement or update on cryptocurrency or digital assets.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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