The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has lauded the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), 2018.
According to IAMAI, the ambitious goals set for 2022 such as provision of broadband for all; creating 4 million additional jobs in the digital communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the digital communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP and propelling India to the top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU, are futuristic, clearly articulated and embraces the contribution of India to the digital communications economy of the world.
With access being the main problem in India today, it is laudable that the policy sets out to create a robust digital communications infrastructure by 2022. The goals to provide Universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen; provide 1 gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Mbps by 2022; enable 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions etc are crucial policy initiatives, which will address the problem of access.
IAMAI, has said that the policy initiative towards enabling next generation technologies and services through investment, innovation, indigenous manufacturing and IPR are a welcome step and will go a long towards taking India towards a vibrant digital economy. The policy aims to create a roadmap for transition to Industry 4.0 by 2020 by closely working with sector specific Industry Councils and establish a multi-stakeholder led collaborative mechanism for coordinating transition to Industry 4.0.
The aim to developing market for IoT/ M2M connectivity services in sectors including Agriculture, Smart Cities, Intelligent Transport Networks, Multimodal Logistics, Smart Electricity Meter, Consumer Durables etc. by incorporating international best practices is a step in the right direction. The policy aims to expand the IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices. According to IAMAI, this will result in efficiency improvements, economic benefits, and reduced human exertions.
IAMAI also welcomes the thrust towards establishing a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals. In this way, it will enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services. Unlike other authorities, data protection as laid down in NDCP will be in sync with a larger law.
The policy enunciations are very critical for future tech adoption and also for citizens privacy rights and hence the government, industry and other stakeholders will have to work together to achieve some of the desired outcomes and drive the country to the right path. According to IAMAI, if we miss out on these critical areas, then we won’t have effective policy on new technologies, will not have access, and if we don’t take care of the citizen’s rights and yet not harm businesses, then the policy will not have the desired outcomes.