The whole mission of Smart Cities is to deliver the right kind of citizen services and the right outcomes from a city infrastructure and citizen services perspective.
The whole mission of Smart Cities is to deliver the right kind of citizen services and the right outcomes from a city infrastructure and citizen services perspective. “At AWS public sector in India, we want to make a positive impact to the lives of every citizen of India through an AWS engagement,” the company’s regional head for India & South Asia Public Sector, Rahul Sharma tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:
What is your perspective on the Indian market?
The more we can work on technology to be focused on outcomes, the better and easier it is for us to adopt technology. At AWS public sector in India we want to make a positive impact to the lives of every citizen of India through an AWS engagement. We want to be able to do this through four identified impact areas and outcome areas: skilling, healthcare, livelihood and agriculture, and inclusion. I think the conversation is headed in the right direction in focusing on citizen outcomes. Digital India, UPI and Aadhaar are focused on citizens, and that’s a great base to work on as far as technology itself is concerned. So, we can now create technology layers around it, to be able to get citizen outcomes faster.
How is AWS Cloud contributing to the Smart Cities market?
The mission of Smart Cities is to deliver the right kind of citizen services and the right outcomes from a city infrastructure and citizen services perspective. The ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) wanted to create the Indian Urban Observatory and they had a stated objective to do this in a matter of weeks, not months. We, along with our partners Quantela and Cisco, helped them create the Urban Observatory in a matter of weeks. Kunal Kumar, joint secretary and mission director for Smart Cities in the ministry of housing and urban affairs led the initiative in a very different form, by not focusing on creating a set of requirements, but by focusing on the outcomes needed. That’s the power of the platform that we bring today – to be able to provide quicker outcomes in a more experiential and iterative form.
How do you anticipate growth for AWS Cloud among educational and research institutions in India?
If you look at educational institutions and ed-techs (education technology), Byju’s is an example that has millions of children that use the platform for learning. Byju’s uses AWS Cloud to provide personalised learning solutions to children. Most of the education technology startups in India are built on AWS, addressing customer requirements in India and globally.
We work closely with education institutions through our global programme AWS Educate, which brings together learning paths, training material, and learning credits for a student on a yearly basis. Thousands of students at higher education institutions in India are members of AWS Educate.
Skilling is one of the key intervention areas that we are working on because 400-450 million people need to be skilled or re-skilled in India. We are extending our reach into education institutions with AWS Educate, and are working with stakeholders such as National Skill Development Corporation. Another example is Common Service Centres (CSC). CSC’s digital literacy mission – PMGDisha – which aims to bring digital literacy to 60 million Indians, leverages AWS technology.
What are the opportunities that you see in the Indian market?
Public sector, as a vertical for AWS in India, covers central and state government agencies, and local governments. We cover education, non-profits, and public healthcare. In central government, we see a number of different conversations in areas like skilling and healthcare, there is plenty scope. Another significant adoption area we are seeing is the state governments. For example, the state of Maharashtra announced a cloud-first policy last year.