Digital India Initiative: Tech Giants Make a Beeline

The BJP Government’s most ambitious plan to transform the country digitally has certainly got takers. The leading technology players in the global marketplace are gearing up to offer their expertise and help India in its digital drive. CISCO to bet big on India: Yes, these were the exact words that the CISCO Chairman & CEO John Chambers had uttered a couple of months back. Staying true to these words, the largest computer networking company in the world has committed to invest around $1.7 billion in a year. Out of that, $40 million will be invested for research & development. The company has already outlined its plans and expressed its readiness to contribute towards Digital India mission.

The US giant is eyeing large Government projects for smart cities and similar Digital India projects as it’s already doing a significant amount of work in this domain. As per media reports, Cisco is approaching the new Government with a flurry of proposals in the field of eHealthcare, eEducation, and smart cities.

Vodafone eyes partnership with Government

The UK telecom firm is eyeing partnership with the Central and State Governments to take a pie from the Digital India programme and Smart City initiatives. With a ‘larger role’ in mind, Vodafone is keen on delivering smart solutions for smart governance by leveraging the power of the mobility platform. The telecom firm is hopeful of steering the change from eGovernance to mGovernance by making mobile-based payments, location-based services and managed mobility services a reality.

Other tech giants too make a beeline

While Google has already pitched in with the proposal of providing ‘inexpensive’ last-mile connectivity with its helium-filled balloons, TCS is working with the Singapore Management University (SMU) in a bid to make a headway when it comes to developing an ‘intelligent city’. Facebook and Microsoft were among the first from the corporate fraternity to have approached government for deploying alternative technologies to offer broadband connections in remote and inaccessible parts of India.

NASSCOM to be a part of Digital India roadmap

The President of NASSCOM, R. Chandrashekar has recently confirmed that the industry body is in talks with individual ministries to finalize the frameworks that aligns with the government’s objective. The primary objective, as understood from the communique sent out by NASSCOM, will be to create and leverage IT solutions across sectors like healthcare and education. It’s also going to work closely with the government on creating framework for the proposed smart cities.

As a first stride, NASSCOM has signed a memorandum of understanding with NatHealth and they have identified priority areas. Both NASSCOM and Health Ministry are planning to create a health platform to enable multiple health services provider to provide services.

Government plans a shift towards open source technology

In one of the game-changing decisions, Indian government is preparing a policy to ensure use of open source software applications as part of the Digital India initiative. The experts are singing praises of the decision to welcome open source. According to them, it would potentially speed up pace at which e-governance projects will be developed and deployed across various sectors.  By moving away from proprietary systems, the government is likely to save millions of dollars since the IT consulting firms will not have to re-invent the software. Moreover, the code and applications can be reused in future.

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