The success story of India in the last few decades has been like a fairytale. India has risen from a country of software developers to a technology powerhouse and a Digital technology leader with back-to-back successful digital programs.
The world is learning from India about digital public goods like e-KYC, UPI, FinTech, FASTag, Vaccination management through the CoWIN digital platform, and much more. India’s rapid adoption and scaling of digital platforms in public services have become a global benchmark.
The youth of India played a critical role in making Digital India.
Most of the building blocks of Digital India have been laid out in the last few years, and India is ready to take off to unprecedented heights of sustainable democratic development.
According to the National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM), Indian information technology has raised 15.5%, the fastest rate since 2011, to reach $227 billion in revenue in FY22 while generating nearly 4.5 lakh jobs over the year.
Let’s quickly check a few fundamental movements that are working towards the digitalization of India:
Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The pilot program began on April 11, 2016.
The UPI system has more than 26 Crore unique users and 05 crore merchants in just six years since its establishment.
The future of payments is expected to be shaped by new technologies like digital currency and BNPL. In contrast, UPI, as a retail online transaction platform, is expected to continue to dominate the country’s digital payments industries.
Many digital wallets and payment applications are adopting UPI, and the interface is interoperable with most banks in India.
The electronic toll collection system, known as FASTag, is operated by the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). It is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-based technology that was first launched in India in 2016 and became mandatory on December 1, 2020.
The platform’s toll revenues hit Rs 4,095 crore, the highest ever in March 2022. For the last fiscal year, highway toll collections through FASTag totaled Rs 38,084 crore, a 68 percent increase over the prior year.
The government of India started the Aadhaar project in January 2009 under the Aadhaar Act. On July 12, 2016, the Indian government established the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory body through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
As of June 21, 2021, 99% of all Indian adults held an Aadhaar card. More than 800 servers at UIDAI’s premises are used to store the data of Aadhaar holders.
The Co-WIN application has been the backbone of India’s successful vaccination program, helping to deliver a mind-boggling 02 billion doses in just one year.
On January 16, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN). An end-to-end system documenting each step of the immunization process was the initial objective to make the best use of available resources, increase productivity, and guarantee that everyone had access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The National Master Plan PM Gati-Shakti has completed its 1st anniversary of being in force. The 100-lakh crore mega plan was introduced with a digital platform connecting 16 ministries and all the states for unified project development and execution.
In coming years, planning; financing, use of technology; and quicker implementation will be the four main areas of attention.
India is currently the second-largest producer of mobile phones behind China, with a 126% increase in output from the financial year 2021 to fiscal 2022.
India’s IT investment is expected to hit $114.9 billion in 2022. This is a milestone in India’s IT history. As per NASSCOM, Indian IT companies reported yearly growth rates of 6-7% before the pandemic and are now growing at about 15-20%. By 2024, the Indian market for digital transformation is expected to reach the $710 billion mark. It translates to a 74% CAGR in percentage terms.
A global survey conducted in 2020 found that India has a 52% adoption rate for digital solutions. By 2025, India’s digital economy is forecast to be worth $1 trillion.
Besides expanding the digital use cases horizontally and reaching the last mile of digital inclusion democratically, India is investing in innovation & technology upgrades by promoting the latest technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain, IoT, Cloud computing, and Big data analytics to enhance growth in the digital sphere further.
Governance, energy, healthcare, and education are just a few industries that will see impressive growth due to high-speed internet and its expanding internet penetration. With over 500 million internet users, it will contribute to closing India’s digital gap and open the door for developing new digital ecosystems and marketplaces.
India has picked up significant momentum with the growth of its digital economy & thus, transparency, the country’s GDP per capita has increased drastically, and it has almost eradicate extreme poverty, apart from increasing life expectancy, literacy, and quality of life of the citizens.
Rapid developments in all commercial areas, with technology serving as the primary enabler of the development, would spur the rise of India in 2047 as one of the most developed nations.
The author, Mr. Akhilesh Srivastava, is a renowned technocrat and digital technology leader. He is Ex-NHAI, leading the Road Safety 2.0 initiative of the World Economic Forum in India, and is also the Road Safety brand ambassador of the International Road Federation (IC). He is known for the successful implementation of FASTag and the automation of the highway sector in India. A best-selling author, he has delivered a series of talks on this theme worldwide. Many Universities recently invited him to the USA to talk on the “Digital Success of India in the last decade and future India @2047.”