Moving one step ahead towards 'Digital India and Skill India' target, 'i-bharat-2014' conference was organized jointly by FICCI and the Department of Electronics and IT in the Ministry of Communications and IT.
While addressing 'i-bharat-2014' conference organized jointly by FICCI and the Department of Electronics and IT in the Ministry of Communications and IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications & IT and Law & Justice stated that “the vision of the Government of India is 'Digital India, Skill India'. This will be achieved with speed and scale by implementing and executing the e-governance strategy. “
Shri Prasad said that “India was sitting on cusp of a big IT revolution. The Government plans to achieve broadband digital connectivity across the country and for this it has expedited the process of putting in place the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN). The aim is to connect 50,000 gram panchayats this year, 1 lakh next year and add another 1 lakh panchayats to the network the following year.”
Shri Prasad emphasized the need for stakeholders to work with greater synergy and cooperation. The Government is in the process of creating an enabling environment, a non-discriminatory architecture, for public and private sectors.
The project for e-governance at the village level has the potential to transform the delivery of video, data, and internet, telephone services in areas such as education, business, entertainment, environment, health households and e-governance services.
On the occasion, Shri Prasad released the FICCI-EY report titled, 'i-City: Enabling Cities for Citizens'.
Addressing the meeting Mr. Rakesh Garg, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, said that the Government is according high priority to digitalizing India to upgrade the skill sets of the work force and capture the ICT potential for higher access and efficiencies across sector.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Senior Vice President, FICCI, said that the recently announced Union Budget 2014-15 has put a lot of emphasis on greater use of technology for domestic growth and development of the country. She added that i-Bharat 2014 was an important step towards the same by bringing together all the stakeholders to exchange their views and deliberate upon formulation of a sustainable roadmap for multi-sectorial growth through use of ICT.
What Budget 2014-15 is promising -
- Rs 10,000 Crore Startup fund, FDI In Insurance, E-commerce platforms.
- Launching a pan India programme “Digital India”. This would ensure Broad band connectivity at village level, improved access to services through IT enabled platforms, greater transparency in Government processes and increased indigenous production of IT hardware and software for exports and improved domestic availability.
- To set up National Centre for Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Special Effect; also Film & Television Institute, Pune and Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata are proposed to be accorded status of Institutes of national importance.
- The Rs 500 crore Ekraanti scheme is aimed at bridging the digital divide and also bringing transparency to government processes.
Reacting to the Budget 2014-15, Mr. Suresh Eriyat Founder and Creative Director - Eeksaurus and member of the advisory panel to the Minister of Information and Broadcast said “While the animation segment in India has been identified as an industry which receives its major projects from the international studios as a backend support, the decision to set up a National Centre for Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Special Effects will give a tremendous boost to home-grown talent. This will help animation in India build an identity of its own rather than being perceived as an add on graphics in the film and advertising industry. The media and entertainment industry which is currently valued at $20 plus billion has a significant growth potential back by such policy reforms. Furthermore, with India being the second largest entertainment industry in the world, animation studios will further be able to gain top-notch talent to support their hi-tech solutions and gain more ground in executing projects.”
Neeraj Roy, MD & CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, welcomed the move to boost the gaming and animation industry, but saw service tax in mobile and online advertising as a setback. “Whilst it is very encouraging to see the government giving more attention to the internet and support of animation and gaming, I view the initial allocations as a small step in the right direction. China has a near $ 1 Trillion internet economy, India will transition from 2G to 4G and add another 400 million mobile internet users over the next 3 years, we need an unprecedented push toward digital for a significantly higher consumer adoption as it will spark productivity across sectors. The aspect of bringing back online advertising into the service tax ambit, whilst it is still a fledgling segment, is therefore almost a conflicting action and not a welcome move.”
Vijay Raut, Director (The College of Animation Bioengineering & Research Centre, Amravati) said, "It's good for animation film making business in India, hope national centre will take care of research facilities and education requirements and allocate funds to animation film makers. It’s a good move awaited from government from long time".
As government has taken step ahead, we expect revolution soon to be experienced by citizens of the country.