“In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of people in ways that were hard to imagine a couple of decades ago. I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hopes and opportunity. We must ensure that technology is accessible, affordable and adds value.” – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Keeping to this theme, technology formed one of the chief focusses in the Union Budget 2018, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley giving more precedence to 5th generation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and blockchain.
To pave the way for greater advancements in digital technologies, the government has doubled its allocation to the ‘Digital India’ programme to $480 Mn (INR 3,073 Cr) in 2018-19.
During the Budget 2018 session, Jaitley announced that the government will be investing extensively in research, training and skill development in robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, Big Data intelligence and Quantum communications, among others.
He said, “Digital technologies have played a key role in providing benefits to the poor. Demonetisation has encouraged digital infrastructure and recapitalised the banks. The global economy is transforming into a digital economy thanks to the development of cutting age technologies like ML, IoT, AI and 3D printing. Initiatives like Digital India, Make In India, Startup India will help to establish itself as a knowledge and digital society.”