Union Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his speech in Lok Sabha on Thursday made many references to the advancements in the field of technology made by Narendra Modi government. From peeking in the latest ‘blockchain’ technology to applications of artificial intelligence (AI), even exploring avenues in the 5G technology, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has touched every major area that will bound to make the Indian economy a powerful digital economy.
For beginners, Blockchain is a digital, decentralised record-book which keeps a track on all the transactions. The main aim for the Blockchain is to keep a track on cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies are decentralised and encrypted digital currencies that do not require institutions like central banks. Every time cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, is exchanged, a block of information is added to the chain of similar previous blocks, which is simultaneously and automatically downloaded on each computer connected to the particular cryptocurrency without an intermediary.
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However, Arun Jaitley in his speech said that the government does not consider cryptocurrencies “legal tender”. Jaitley also said it would “take all measures” to eliminate its use. But, he also mentioned that the government is also planning to “explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy”.
In his speech, Jaitley also recognized the development of “cutting-edge” technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and 3D printing. Arun Jaitley said that the NITI Aayog “will initiate a national program to direct our efforts in the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications”.
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Arun Jaitley said that the Department of Science and Technology would get support from the government for setting up of centers of excellence. Jaitley said that this push is bound to give investments in “research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication”.
As per the Finance Minister, India is preparing for upcoming technologies, like the 5G. To make the most of the benefits from the next-gen technology, Jaitley said that benefits of “emerging new technologies, particularly the ‘Fifth Generation’ (5G) technologies and its adoption.” The Finance Minister also said that the Department of Telecom will help in establishing an “indigenous 5G Test Bed” at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.