The maiden edition of India’s largest event on telecom and technology — India Mobile Congress — started with a show of camaraderie between two arch rivals in mobile space — Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal and Reliance Jio’s Mukesh Ambani — with both referring to each others as “friends”. While senior ministers in the Modi Government outlined the government priorities in promoting mobile and broadband technologies to push ‘Digital India’ to new levels, Corporate leaders sought more policy initiatives to push growth….

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 27, 2017: The government is coming out with new Telecom policy and also a policy on Electronics, Internet of Things, Software product, Cloud computing and E-commerce, that will give push India’s growth, generate jobs and make India a digital superpower, announced Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha and Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the inauguration of the three-day event.

Global giants including Google, Nokia, Qualcomm, IBM, Facebook, Hwawei, Accenture, Ericsson, Mediatek, Cisco are participating, besides Indian operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, BSNL, Idea Cellular are also present. However, it is the Indian equipment manufacturers and government-run corporations like C-DoT, CDAC, ITI are missing from action due to apathy of the organisers raising serious questions over the promotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pitch for ‘Make In India’.

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said the telecom industry is expected to generate revenue of $38.25 billion by 2017, with an annual growth rate of 5.2 per cent between 2014 and 2017. The telecom industry generates 40-lakh direct and indirect job opportunities.

“India telecom industry has seen a major push in investments in last one year…Mobile operators have rolled out two-lakh mobile towers in the last 15 months. With the National Telecom Policy 2018 in the making, the Indian telecom sector will cross $6.6 trillion by 2020,” said Mr. Sinha.

“Government is taking various steps to provide ease of dong business to the industry. India has constituted high-level forum to prepare a roadmap for deployment of 5G technologies. Telecom industry contributes around 6% to the GDP and has the potential to contribute more in the future,” he said. India has set up a high-level ‘5G India 2020 Forum’ with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore where Ministries of Communications, Electronics & IT, and Science & Technology are the partners.

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We are developing three new centres of excellence dedicated to new areas of growth which include blockchain management, data science and analytics, virtual reality and machine learning. We have also set up a committee on data protection. Balance should be created between data availability, data anonymity, data utility, data innovation and data privacy.”

“Indian is poised to become $1 trillion digital economy comprising commerce, electronics, manufacturing, e-commerce. We are working on on connecting 1.3 billion people digitally, which will not only lead to better services, but will also create more jobs and attract investment.In digital India, there should be partnership between government and private sector. We don’t want to miss the digital revolution. Digital is more for poor and under-priviledged. We are servicing all pro-poor initiatives,” he added.

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