Post-budget 2018 Reaction Mr. Vishal Jain, Partner, Deloitte India

The Union Budget 2018 continues to be carrying forward the government’s Digital India agenda. There is a vision to be ready for the future using digital technologies.

Intention to adopt Blockchain for payments ecosystem or going digital for toll collections shall mean that the existing technology infrastructure shall need to be upgraded and scaled up as more and more transactions move to this channel. On similar lines, the push towards increased penetration of fiber and WiFi will mean that the citizens shall have an easier access to internet & better connectivity, however people now need to be educated and awareness created to leverage this access. One of the positives of this enhanced connectivity shall enable the use of technology to increase the digital intensity in education both for teachers and children. Telecom shall be the key enabler facilitating the penetration of digital into the country. Telecom operators shall need to ensure security of the content delivered over their networks. 

The announcement by the government to create Centers of Excellence and upskill people on new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Robotics, IOT etc shows that the government is keen on using a combination of cyber and physical systems to enhance the way of life for the citizens of the country. While this is a good starting point however with such new digital technologies the threat surface shall also increase hence entities/ organization should come up on solutions which can safeguard and secure such deployments. 

The focus on Smart Cities needs to continue whilst ensuring a secure environment. Digitalization of citizen services using new technologies and the announcement of setting up the 5G test bed shall position India as a front runner in embracing new technologies. 

While not specifically outlined in the current budget, the government needs to increase focus on security and privacy of personal data. We have seen some concerns being highlighted in the recent past and the time is now ripe to have a strong framework around this for the future. 

Overall the vision seems to be there and this now needs to be supported with diligent efforts to convert this into a reality. The budget signals to the investors that India is changing, however steps need to be taken to secure this digital journey to instill confidence in this digital way of life. News Service

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