Digital infra will revive Indian economy, says Nilekani


Digital infrastructure would play a major role in reviving the Indian economy, Infosys Co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani said on Monday.

“India’s digital data architecture will set the tone for business revival. The country has witnessed a dramatic transformation through the Aadhaar-based, e-KYC (know your customer) and online payments,” he said at apex business chamber Ficci’s national executive committee meeting here.

Noting that data was becoming central to the people and governments the world over, Nilekani said there would be a big change once data became the basis for decision-making in many sectors.

“Data empowerment architecture will benefit all segments of the economy,” he told the captains of commerce and industry on the topic ‘Digital India and its impact on economy and industry’.

The architect of the 12-digit unique identity number Aadhaar for a whopping 120 crore Indian citizens said the Aadhaar e-KYC was revolutionary in making life simpler the people.

“The government has the infrastructure to deal with direct benefits transfers (DBT) in any segment. The facility can revive even the power sector,” he said.

On the role of digital technology in tax mobilisation, he said the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) was a great example of technology-led cooperative federalism.

“GST has increased the number of taxpayers. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags linked to bank accounts is another big reform,” he added.

Addressing a session on ‘India’s growing bio economy’, biotechnology major Biocon’s Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the country’s bio-economy sector was set to reach $200 billion by 2030.

“Bio-economy is a crucial segment of our economy and the new government must focus on this in a big way,” she said.

Lamenting that the investment in research and development was less than 1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Shaw said the government and the industry must invest 2 per cent of the GDP in science, technology and R&D.

Calling upon the education system to embrace research culture, she said its stakeholders should leverage the talent pool of scientists and engineers across the country.

“As the cost of gene sequencing has reduced substantially, the process can be utilised to diagnose critical diseases. Indian firms can benefit from the revolutionary process,” she said.

Shaw also urged the commerce and industry apex body to take up the changes needed in the bio-diversity bill with the Union government.

Industrialist-cum-politician Rajeev Chandrasekhar urged the industry to play a pro-active role in making the country secure with a responsive governance structure.

“We have to ensure our safety and security. Though the reform process began five years ago, governance reforms with transparency will enhance efficiency of spending,” Chandrasekhar, who is a BJP Rajya Sabha member, said.

“Digital empowerment has led to greater inclusiveness, with the government’s efforts and private enterprises,” said Ficci President Sandip Somany

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