India plans new policy on electronics, software, data security

India digital economy
In a bid to give a quantum boost to the Indian electronics and software manufacturing industry, the government is planning a new policy for electronics and software production, as well as for data protection and setting up start-up clusters.

Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced this on Friday after a meeting here with industry leaders in order to launch work on the blueprint to realise a $1 trillion Indian IT economy in the next 5-7 years.

“We will be shortly laying down the new electronics policy because between the old policy and now, India has changed completely. Therefore, to boost electronics manufacturing, we will come up with new policy,” Prasad told reporters here.

“There is need to look at inward software market. Therefore, we will come with a new software product policy and we are going to have framework for data security and protection policy,” he said.

The National Policy on Electronics was drawn up in 2012 and approved by the previous the UPA cabinet in 2013.

Noting that India ranks third in the world in terms of the number of start-ups, the Minister said the country needed to have start-up clusters for facilitations.

“India needs to have start-up clusters. In coordination with (industry body) Nasscom and the Data Security Council of India, we are working on a framework for a Start-ups Cluster Policy to help create Special Innovative Zones,” he said.

Besides, such an architecture for the future of Indian information technology (IT) would be incomplete without a dispute resolution mechanism as being demanded by the industry, Prasad said.

“Dispute resolution needs a robust mechanism…the industry wants it,” Prasad, who is also the Law Minister, said.

“We have already set up a procurement policy, and we will certainly look into a framework for having a dispute resolution policy,” he added.

Earlier, Prasad outlined the government’s vision for building the Indian IT sector into a $1 trillion economy by 2022 that would become a global hub of low-cost digital technology.

Noting that it already is an industry with an estimated worth of $400-450 billion, he said Indian IT would not take long to became a $1 trillion industry.

“India’s digital economy has acquired a momentum of its own and its low-cost digital technology is being talked about the world over,” he said.

“Digital India is the technical empowerment of Indians and our vision is to create an Indian model of development that will bridge the divide between digital haves and have-nots,” he added.

Pointing out that 72 new mobile manufacturing units have opened in the last three years, the Minister said: “Mobile manufacturing itself will become a Rs 500 crore industry in the next few years.”

“The Indian IT industry has a clear potential to provide 10.5 million jobs, at a minimum,” he added.