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India’s National Policy on software products to boost tech start-ups

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released a notification on its policy regarding software products, earlier this year. The policy intends to create and support a number of tech initiatives and projects that work towards developing the software products sector in the country.

A primary objective of the policy is to nurture about 10,000 technology start-ups. This includes 1,000 technology start-ups in tier-II and tier-III towns and cities, which are expected to be able to generate direct and indirect employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.

The project also aims to develop the country as a global software product hub, driven by innovation, sustainable intellectual property (IP), promoting technology start-ups, and specialised skill sets based on ICT.

According to an official release, the information technology enabled services (ITES) industry of the country is a critical pillar in its economic growth.

The industry has the potential to be a driving force to develop capabilities for harnessing new technologies across India’s sectors, including agriculture, health, education, and manufacturing. This can also create significant employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The Digital India initiative that was launched in 2015, has ensured that the Indian IT industry delivers high-quality services at competitive prices. The programme is leading to a transformation of India into a knowledge-based economy and digitally empowered society based on technology that is inclusive, affordable, and sustainable. This has ensured digital access, digital infrastructure, and digital empowerment in the name of digital inclusion.

India’s digital footprint is one of the fastest growing in the world. It has the potential to become a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025 and this digital transformation movement is finding global resonance.

The development of the software product industry will result in positive externalities for the entire spectrum of the Indian ITES sector, and hence for the overall economy, by facilitating the development of platforms that ensure that technology-based solutions are generated for sector-specific areas.

Furthermore, leveraging new and emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain to their maximum advantage across sectors of the economy require higher levels of innovation.

An outlay of about US $214 million will be used to implement the programmes under the policy over a seven-year period.

To cater to the large-scale requirements of trained manpower in new technologies, a programme has been initiated for the up-skilling of about three million IT professionals in emerging technologies.

A national “talent accelerator” programme targeting 100,000 school and college students, will be initiated to inspire young talent to work in software product development.

To improve access to domestic markets and cross-border trade promotions, Indian product start-ups and MSMEs will be encouraged to develop solutions for smart cities, healthcare, agriculture, e-learning, transport, and fintech.

These start-ups will also help solve several social challenges by, for example, using technology to bridge the digital divide, lower gender inequality, and empower less privileged citizens.


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