India largest 'connected' nation in the world
The Digital India programme, which promises to augment India’s mission with digital literacy initiative skills with an exemplary indigenous success story, has already become a world story with technical progress shaping new India.
The Digital India programme, which promises to augment India's mission with digital literacy initiative skills with an exemplary indigenous success story, has already become a world story with technical progress shaping new India.
Consider this, India is now the largest 'connected' nation in the world with 800 million Indian users. 5G and the largest rural broadband connectivity network project at BharatNet will have 1.2 billion Indian users constituting the single largest presence of the global internet. Talking about the public digital platforms, India is at the forefront of the digital payment systems, with 88 billion transactions last year and 120 billion transactions expected this year. UPI has been the most visible product, but there are also others such as Rupay and FasTag. A large proportion of Rupay cards are under PMRPY.
That's not all. It is not much to expect further technological innovations as well as updated regulatory policies to make India remain relevant in the new scheme of things. Mind you that India now has a tremendous powerful offering, identity authentication to a very diverse and rich suite of applications, and improved accessibility to the internet to countries in the Global South which have not been able to step up and create the same sort of pace of digitization of the economy is an internalisation of their economies. Mind you that during the G20 Presidency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared that he will be open to India offering that platform to all those nations in the Global South that want to transform their digital economy and their governance model as India.
India is now looking at the major initiative of connecting the unconnected ones with best internet connectivity. And nothing could have been more apt than leveraging Techade for Empowering Bharat. The multistakeholder architecture of the Indian internet happened after a lot of effort. In the next few years, this multistakeholder engagement must go beyond the intellectual academic discussion to ensure the internet grows and innovation grows, while keeping both safe and trusted and accountable for all the billion digital citizens of India.
It is only appropriate at this point in time that India is looking at building laws which would ensure the privacy, protection, data, security and safety of its citizens. India is also looking at how to create a trillion-dollar digital economy in the next three years. Along with India, all other stakeholders need to be deeply involved in the third leg of the Global Standard Cyber Law Framework. Hopefully that will catalyse the Indian internet and the economy as well.
Having said all these, the theme of the Indian Internet should be: An open, safe, trusted and accountable internet. Security must be foundational in the design. Secured technologies such as end-to-end encryption play a crucial role in securing the internet, making information secure and trustworthy. This helps to build trust online, which is essential to create an inclusive and empowered digital economy in India.