Mumbai: Industry experts have lauded the budget proposal to boost technological advancements through digital initiatives saying this can be the biggest driver for job creation, to improve the quality of education, healthcare and rural progress.
"Focus on digital technologies as the biggest driver in improving quality of education, healthcare and rural sector is praiseworthy. The plan on universal healthcare is ambitious and can be transformational," Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder and director, Indian Angel Network, and co-founder of Nasscom has said.
The budget proposal to double the allocation to Digital India initiative to Rs 3,073 crore is a fine booster to transform the digital economy, he said. These proposals show that government has recognised the contribution made by angel investors and venture capital funds, he added.
Further, the focus on promoting machine learning and artificial intelligence is a positive move, which will accelerate the country's position as a global hub for technological capabilities.
"The budget proposal to boost research in AI/robotics is a huge boost as it will accelerate our journey to being seen as global hub of technological capabilities and help us churn out futuristic technologies in machine learning, cognitive, robotics and process automation," Milan Sheth of EY India said.
Padmaja Ruparel, co-founder and president, Indian Angel Network said, "the Budget has given a big leg-up to startups, angel investors and VC community and committed itself to build a more enabling ecosystem, simplify regulatory regime and encourage funding in seed and early stage."
She further said the focus on AI and blockchain technologies promises to "make the country go not only digital but further deep tech."
Hemant Joshi of Deloitte said the setting up of 5G center in collaboration with IIT Madras would help the country become an early adopter of the next generation technology rather than being a laggard.
"This could be a boon for the telecom industry and guide telcos to move to next-gen networks efficiently and effectively. This could also work on development of the Internet of Things and machine to machine applications which are relevant and best suited for us," he said.
The plan to rollout 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots with a budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore is a great move to improve rural connectivity and thus bring them under the ambit of applications and services rolled out under the Digital India initiative.
The Budget also puts spotlight on cyber technologies, and focuses on creating centres of excellence for emerging technologies, AI, machine learning, IoT, big data and blockchain.
"The proposed centres of excellence will be a key step in building solutions which embed security by design and privacy by design. In addition, the move to dispel the ambiguity around the use of cryptocurrencies will help to contain cybercrime and cyber terrorism," Sivarama Krishnan of PwC said.
With over 1 billion mobile phone users and the massive burst of digital transformation, the reasons behind increased number of hacks are manifold.
Jaspreet Singh of EY said the plan to launch a national programme for cyberspace can act as a much-needed catalyst in this area and address the considerable need for R&D investments to upgrade cyber capabilities and develop new technologies that can be leveraged for the future.