India first: Niti Aayog proposes panel to improve country’s share in Information technology market

By: | Updated: January 27, 2019 6:31 AM

Niti proposal aims at achieving 5% share in global market.

As per sources, the commission, modelled on the lines of space and atomic energy commissions, will have full executive and financial powers with an annual budget of Rs 100 crore.

Government thinktank Niti Aayog has proposed setting up of a commission for core information and communication technologies (ICT) in order to achieve a 5% share in the global market with revenue potential of  Rs 7,00,000 crore in 10 years.

As per sources, the commission, modelled on the lines of space and atomic energy commissions, will have full executive and financial powers with an annual budget of Rs 100 crore.

Sources said a Cabinet note will be moved soon for inter-ministerial consultations regarding the same. The government feels that to promote information and telecommunications or digital technologies, it is important to set up this ICT commission, which will be free from all non-essential restrictions or needlessly inelastic rules.
The core ICT, which is the foundation of India’s national security, especially due to growing digitalisation, currently has negligible share of around 0.2% in the global industry of this technological sector.

“Core ICT is seen as the most important technology capability in the modern era and India’s absence in this sector is matter of serious concern. Despite over 30 years of efforts by different governments, Indian presence in this critical sector has remained at negligible levels while many countries like China and South Korea are becoming significant participants,” sources privy to the development told FE.

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There is an imminent need to create a policy-making structure that will address this critical vulnerability and import dependence of India on other countries.

Sources said the commission will formulate policy interventions for the growth of the core ICT sector in the country in terms of attracting global manufacturers for setting up factories in India and implement policies in all matters concerning core ICT manufacturing.

“Within the limits of the budget provision, approved by Parliament, the commission shall have the powers of the Government of India, both administrative and financial, for carrying out the work,” a source working on the proposal said.

It is being proposed that the CEO of Niti Aayog or the telecom secretary should be the ex-officio chairman of the commission, which will have 15 part-time members. The members include national security advisor, cabinet secretary, principal secretary to prime minister, finance secretary, etc. There was also a proposal to have a few members from the private sector, but no decision has been taken in this regard. The members will be appointed on rotation basis of three to five years.

The commission would be supported by a secretariat not exceeding 50 executives drawn from international talent pool who are to cover legal, business, technology, IP Law, competition, statistics, etc. The secretariat would be headed by a CEO, appointed by the government with a deemed rank of secretary to the Government of India with a term of five years and extendable by another term.

As per the proposal, Delhi will be the headquarter of the commission and it can open offices anywhere in the world in support of its mission. It can employ people of any nationality to bring in the right knowledge base for a maximum term of 10 years.

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