Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitely’s annual budget announcement is underway where he said that India is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In the wake of the digitisation of the country, he said that Rs 3,037 crore will be sanctioned for the government’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme. Besides, he announced that the Niti Aayog will take a major step to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) to contribute to the national development. The next financial year will see major advancements in the e-citizen services that will be driven by AI. A sum of Rs 10,000 crore will be allocated for the telecom industry to make them ready for the 5G adoption as early as possible. The Budget 2018 announcement also included connecting 1 lakh gram panchayats via Internet cables.
The Digital India programme will take a rebound with the freshly allocated budget of Rs 3,037 crores that will be consumed in bettering the data protection and Internet mechanisms in the country. This will further strengthen the role of digital platforms in India to disseminate technology to more citizens. The digital payments will see a spike as the cashless digitisation will be accelerated in the next financial year. Furthermore, the Niti Aayog will deploy the Artificial Intelligence for most of the government services. This is expected to reduce the overload on the present resources that are getting dated.
The telecom industry of India is set to get a makeover as the FM Jaitley Budget briefcase opened a bounty of Rs 10,000 crore for the infrastructure growth. This will prepare the telecom ecosystem in India for the 5G adoption, which is imminent to roll out. Tech companies such as Ericsson and Nokia recently showcased their 5G modems and technologies in India alongside the promise that these devices will reach the telecom infrastructure of India soon. besides, there will be at least 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots opened in the country to allow a better access to the Internet for the citizens. However, the regions where these Wi-Fi hotspots will be deployed is not clear at the time of writing.
In addition to the aforementioned announcements, FM Jaitley said that the government plans to connect at least 1 lakh gram panchayats via the optical fibre cables. The newly announced roadmap is an extension to the BharatNet project that recently entered in its second phase. The BharatNet Project Phase II has so far shown a laudable result in connecting more and more villages via the Internet, said Jaitley. The second phase of the government’s BharatNet project was recently said to near its completion by the end of the first half of this year.