India has remained one of the most viable global intelligence hubs since the evolution of internet. Yet, it has failed receiving global acknowledgement as a smart country, even through over 2 decades have passed since the internet boom. The country continued being regarded as just a major IT hub, until recently the new NDA government, under the worthy leadership of the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, has started with the massive initiative of digital infrastructure overhaul. Beyond the title of industrialists’ favorite offshore destination, this is India’s one of the sturdiest attempts to self-sufficiency under the banner ‘Make in India’.
Digital Infrastructure Overhaul – Why is this important All of a Sudden?
No, not all of a sudden! Not at all! This is something that earlier governments of the country should have started. Irrespective of ideological differences, the previous governments have acknowledged the importance of internet-related intelligence over the county’s economy. Yet, they never really showed the courage or willingness to do the right things that could have taken India at an advanced stage in becoming an IT superpower. The initiative to overhaul digital infrastructure was a necessity that was never really entertained unanimously and now it has reached the point of no turning back.
No Dearth of Resources, Only thing Missing was Willingness!
The Prime Minister’s now-or-never indulgence in digitizing India raised a lot of eyebrows initially. Critics with traditional outlook pointed out several factors that would have made materialization of the goal extremely difficult – almost impossible. They thought resource will be a problem, not to mention willingness of competent partner in materializing the massive task. Quite in contradiction to overwhelming negativity, the actual scenario has presented itself with several encouraging factors, such as:
- Google has partnered with the Indian government in digitizing the infrastructure extensively
- Virginia Romnetty, the IBM CEO, has expressed her sincere desire to come forward and join hands with the government to build smart cities and an upscale digitized India
- In one of the latest developments, CISCO has unveiled the model of a ‘smart city’, putting an end to the discussion that digital India is nothing but another political gimmick
[Please note: CISCO, previously tied up with respective governments to transform Barcelona and Canberra into smart cities]
Of the Long Way and Hurdles!
Digital India – a small expression that includes indomitable resolution in the face of mammoth challenges. The entire program will receive $17 billion government funding and at the initial phase, it will take 50,000 villages into its scope. In next two years, the government plans to bring 200,000 more villages under this program. Google will be directly involved with every phase of the project, starting from handling finance and human resource related hurdles to rolling out newer initiatives in perfecting the program.
CISCO, on the other hand, will be complementing Google’s efforts by materializing smart cities. In this effort, their effort doesn’t remain limited with improving connectivity but also directly addresses the area of concern in the country, such as improving the standards of education, healthcare, accommodation, transpiration and logistics. Interestingly, each of these tech giants will put the power of IoE (Internet of Everything) to use in materializing the objectives. In countries like India, where developmental efforts in their traditional forms are either time-consuming or almost insurmountable barriers, IoE empowers the agents of change with the capacity to ensure sustainable development in diverse, yet integral domains of modern existence, namely – economy, society and environment.
The interconnected steps that a potential Indian smart city is expected to contain, are:
- Smart parking facilities
- Smart buildings (to solve the problems with quality habitat and accommodation)
- Remote expert solution (to address versatile livelihood-related issues through real-time video collaboration)
- Interconnected and mutually sharing educational opportunities
- Smart workspace solution
The government, in its quest to digitize India, got one thing (and one of the fundamental things) very correct that the effort is not an elite ambition anymore. The world is changing faster than we can imagine. While India is required to match with changing course of the world, even a few months back, only a tiny section of the country realized the urge to keep up with the changing course. The country, on the other hand, demands sustainable governance, quality leadership and viable solution to the ills that are gnawing the overall standard of life almost from every dimension of existence. IoE can address these issues most comprehensively and bring forth the desired results without sacrificing on the sustainability part.