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After start-ups and big firms, now govt is keen on using power of cloud

The Ministry of Agriculture works with several agri-tech start-ups, which use a wide variety of data sets. Some firms have their own databases, while others source it from third-party agencies

Sonal Khetarpal   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 3, 2019  | 13:02 IST
After start-ups and big firms, now govt is keen on using power of cloud
According to a report, India's spending on public cloud services and development of infrastructure is expected to increase to $2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 34.5 per cent over 2018.

With the rise of digitisation, public and private sectors both are looking at the power of cloud to capture data and make sense of it. It started with start-ups, followed by big firms and now the government has joined the fray.

Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services said that earlier there used to be higher momentum and movement from the local and state governments, but this year there is a big change in what Central government is trying to do with cloud and cloud computing.

In her recent visit to India, she met Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare. She said the Ministry of Agriculture is interested in putting all its datasets together and have one central database that is open for all.

The Ministry of Agriculture works with several agri-tech start-ups, which use a wide variety of data sets. Some firms have their own databases, while others source it from third-party agencies. So, currently it is all disaggregated.

"The language that we're hear from everyone in the government now is about open data. It's about making data available for everyone because that's when you derive benefits from it," says Peter Moore, Regional Managing Director for Amazon Web Services, Global Public Sector - APAC and Japan.

He adds that the Central government ministry is trying to be the custodian of data and provide better information to everyone. "You put these things together and you've got a very serious movement."

Innovation in new firms such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix couldn't have been possible without cloud, says Carlson. "All of them ran on AWS to take advantage of the scalability and the ability to process, analyse and store data."

She spoke about their strawberry project at the innovation centre at California Polytechnic State University. Strawberries have a $4-billion market in California, but over half of them get overripe on the vine itself before they are picked and brought to the market. They are using IoT to monitor their growth so that strawberries can be picked at the right time.

According to the report 'IDC Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide', India's spending on public cloud services and development of infrastructure is expected to increase to $2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 34.5 per cent over 2018.

AWS launched its services in India in 2016. It now has three availability zones in the region.

Some of their public sector customers include Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC), CSC e-Governance Services (set up by the Ministry of Electronics & IT), Gujarat Technical University, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

Also read: Decoding Slowdown: Govt apathy and low investment continue to plague the agriculture sector

Also read: Reliance AGM: Mukesh Ambani announces partnership with Microsoft; to open cloud data centres

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