Budget focuses on AI, digital villages and RFID

The Union Budget 2019-20 focuses on establishing National Centre on Artificial Intelligence, creating 1 lakh digital villages and deployment of RFID to improve logistics
To take the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been envisaged. This would help in establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with centres of excellence. Nine priority areas have been identified under AI and a National Artificial Intelligence portal will also be developed soon.
India is now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data and the government will make 1 lakh villages into digital villages over the next five years. Not only this, Indian customs is introducing full and comprehensive digitalization of export/import transactions and leveraging RFID technology to improve export logistics.
Commenting on budget recommendations, NASSCOM said, “In line with the vision for a digital India, budget 2019 focused on giving an impetus to technology integration and penetration. With the plan to convert 1 lakh villages into digital villages over next five years, introduce electronic tax return assessment in the next 2 years, comprehensive digitization for customs transactions and support for 3 lakh CSCs to render digital services. The highlight of the budget was the announcement of the a National Center for Artificial Intelligence and the AI portal. This will play a key role for India to accelerate AI development and adoption to the last mile. We look forward to partner with the government for this key initiative.”
With the government setting a target to become a $5 Tn economy in the next 5 years, Intel believes that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G will play a crucial part in this vision. Firstly, the government’s focus on the rapid adoption of AI in India by announcing initiatives like the National Center for AI and a National AI Portal, is a step in the right direction to drive technology adoption in the country. At Intel, we have been working on various AI-led initiatives with the government and will continue to collaborate with the country in its digital transformation mission,” said Prakash Mallya, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel.
Commenting on budget recommendations, Cambium Networks, Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC said, “The government’s plans to set-up 100,000 digital villages in the next five years is a huge step towards leapfrogging India’s march on critical initiatives such as Digital India. By placing wireless connectivity at the heart of India’s development particularly in rural areas, the country is poised to further consolidate its position as the global hub for disruptive innovations.”
JK Gupta, CFO, Tata Technologies said, “This is a forward-thinking, growth-oriented budget with a special focus for all, bridging the rural urban divide, while embracing modern digital technologies for the holistic development of the nation. The initiative to create one lakh digital villages in the next five years shows its commitment to bridging the digital divide. The government’s recognition of the importance of clean energy to build a pollution-free India is evident through its Vision 2030 roadmap. The initiative envisions India driving on Electric Vehicles with renewables becoming a major source of energy.”
KG Purushothaman, Partner, Advisory, and Telecom Leader, KPMG in India said, “With a strong focus on overall fiscal growth of the Indian economy, the telecom sector remained forlorn in the interim budget 2019. The telecom sector, despite being the foundation ground of the digital India, remained wanting for critical support needed by the sector to reinvigorate itself.”
Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, Chairman of IET IoT Panel & President – Aeris Communications commented, “Focus on women empowerment and facilitations in the field of education and healthcare. This can be achieved by having provision to setup Mother and Child Unit for offering comprehensive pre- and post-natal screening, care and education in the digital villages.”
The Budget 2019-20 clearly showcases the importance of a digital-first India and the government’s commitment to drive innovation and technology advancement in the country. 

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