Nandan Nilekani’s mantra for Digital India: Twin engines to drive Modi’s pet scheme

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Published: July 2, 2020 10:36 AM

Aadhar architect Nandan Nilekani recently said that Ease of Doing Business and Artificial Intelligence must be core focus areas for the government's Digital India initiative in the coming years.

While the investments done in the early days are now paying off, the country must now come up with ways to deploy technology for ease of doing business and allow enterprises to flourish.

Aadhar architect Nandan Nilekani recently said that Ease of Doing Business and Artificial Intelligence must be core focus areas for the government’s Digital India initiative in the coming years. Speaking at an event on the fifth anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet scheme Digital India, the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) also lauded the steps that the country has already taken towards Digital India. “The investment that India has done in Digital India is now paying off in a very big way. For example, in this whole covid-19, the entire DBT was possible only because of the public infrastructure has got,” he said, adding that a part of the journey has been completed, but India has to continue applying technology to governance.

While the investments done in the early days are now paying off, the country must now come up with ways to deploy technology for ease of doing business and allow enterprises to flourish with minimal human interface in government services. Nandan Nilekani also pushed for building Artificial Technology in sectors such as agriculture, improving tax collections and enhancing healthcare. “The time has come to apply AI in a big way to drive insights from this, which will enable India to progress further,” he said. 

The virtual event was also attended by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, Law and Justice, Electronics and IT, and Communications, who requested Nandan Nilekani and Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh to encourage startups to come up with apps that can challenge China’s dominance in the tech space.  “There will be encouragement from our side but we also need a helping hand from many others. There is a big scope of public private partnership, which we will need to finalise in our own way,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said while pushing for public-private partnership. Nandan Nilekani also chimed in and said that the government has played an important role in multiple ways to encourage public-private partnership by acting as an enabler, a customer, a platform provider and a collaborator of solutions. Several projects such as Passport Seva Kendra were undertaken with the help of private enterprises.

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