The government is planning to create public digital platforms in partnership with the industry and will release a framework within 10 days comprising the use of non-personal data for providing better service to people, Communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday. While speaking at a CII conference, Vaishnaw said he is working to make the telecom industry a sunrise sector and bring it out from the current state of a continuous tussle with various stakeholders, including regulators and lawmakers.
"Government is now planning to create public digital platforms on the lines of UPI, Cowin. Such digital platforms will then be opened up to the start up community and industry. Please come, create your consumer-facing applications. Grow with us.
"We provide you the solid base. For that we have formulated a National Data Framework. That data framework based on feedback that we have should be uploaded within a week's or 10 day timeframe," Vaishnaw said.
The government in February had floated a draft India Data Accessibility and Use Policy 2022 which aims to enhance access, quality, and use of data, in line with the current and emerging technology needs of the decade.
When asked about the expectation from the proposed next round of reforms in the telecom sector, the minister said he wants to make it a sunrise industry.
"We will make sure that the telecom industry, which is the primary source for consuming digital services and which is a driver of the digital services and driver of digitisation specially of MSME sector, has to be cheap. It has to be low cost. It has to be reliable at a low cost," Vaishnaw said.
He said that the government is focussing on things to make sure that telecommunications becomes a vibrant industry.
"It becomes a sunrise industry. Not an industry which is struggling. Not an industry which is continuously fighting with the stakeholders, whether it be courts or the government or the regulator but rather working all of us together to reach out the least person in the society," Vaishnaw said.
He said that the government is making efforts on every basic thing that is required to drive growth.
The minister said that the government is making efforts to establish a semiconductor ecosystem in the country which is going to be the foundation stone for a number of industries in the coming years whether it is the telecom industry, IT hardware industry, automobile etc.
"Each and every CEO that we have spoken to, each and every global major that has come and met us have put India squarely on their radar, have started identifying real opportunities , have started scouting for talents to lead those initiatives. There would be certain more things to be done," Vaishnaw said.
The government has put in place a programme for setting up the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem in the country with an incentive of around Rs 76,000 crore.
"How do we leverage our talent and build up the semiconductor industry in our country and how do we scale it up in a consistent manner in the next 10- 15 years so that it is going to become a major force in the growth of other industries. That's going to be a major aim and we have taken some very good initiatives and initiatives are showing very good results," Vaishnaw said.
Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said that the kind of contributions Indian scientists have made in technology, space, science through the ages need to be projected again.
"We were projected as a country of snake charmers and people took pride in that. I have nothing against snake charmers by the way. I love snakes and I love snake charmers but my problem is portraying India as a place of snake charmers and not disclosing contributions of jogis in the freedom struggle.
"These people who have actually turned into snake charmers were actually jogis who participated in the freedom movement of the country from 1857 onwards," Lekhi said.
Union minister Anurag Thakur said that the industry talks about lack of skilled workforce and youth talk about less jobs which indicates there is a gap that exists in the country and it needs to be bridged.
He said that when the world was reeling under Covid-19 pandemic, several Indian start-ups turned unicorns which show the power of youth in the country.
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