February 29, 2024

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India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to expand digital projects under Digital India

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to expand digital projects under Digital India
India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to expand digital projects under Digital India

The
Government of India through The Ministry of Electronics and Information
Technology
(MeitY) is planning to expand its India Business Process
Outsourcing
(BPOs) Promotion Scheme to 100,000 seats up from the
present 48,000 seats. The Ministry is also set to establish the fifth and
largest National
Data Centre (NDC)
in the country; located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,
that will be able to host 500,000 virtual servers. National Data Centre will
offer government websites, services and apps; there are currently four that are
operational in the country- in Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi and Bhubaneswar.  

The
term Business
Process Outsourcing (BPO)
refers to the hiring of a third party
service provider. BPOs in India offer to outsource in several fields and offer
services like digital and customer support, creative design, finance and
accounting services, insurance and data processing, etc. It is the fastest
growing segment of the ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) industry
for both production and export.

The
India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) was developed under the Prime Minister Mr
Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative
and aims to create job
opportunities for the local youth in smaller, more remote villages and to draw
in investments in these areas for digital development and overall growth.

The
IBPS was launched in 2014 and has since been working to incentivise the BPO/IT-
ITES operations sector in India. Mr Ravi Prasad,
the Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, said that these
initiatives will help generate employment opportunities for people in rural
India; he added that BPOs will also be launched in smaller cities, like Gaya
and Gazipur so that the youth in rural areas will be able to find employment
closer to home.

He
stated that the Government wants to make India a hub for the BPO movement and
that the IBPS
has already set up 91 BPOs in 88 cities and towns
. Under the scheme,
31,732 seats for BPO units that operate in smaller towns have been allotted and
new employment possibilities have emerged with the potential to offer nearly
200,000 direct and indirect jobs to the country’s youth.

The
Ministry has also said that the 5th National Data Centre (NDC) will be launched
in Bhopal; another project under the Digital India initiative. Developed by the
National Informatics
Centre (NIC)
, the NDC in Bhopal will be able to host around 10,000
government websites.

Last
month, Mr Ravi Prasad inaugurated a cloud-enabled
National Data Centre at Bhubaneswar
; the centre offers
round-the-clock services with secure hosting applications of the Government and
its departments through e-Governance to the public. The National Informatics
Centre has also established other NDCs in Delhi, Hyderabad
and Pune.

The
Data Centre in Bhopal will be the largest in the country and according to a
senior NIC official, it will be operational within the next two years.

India
is quickly becoming one of the largest data consumers and so the need for data
storage for apps and websites of government services has increased; thus a
number of schemes like the unique biometric identifier (Aadhar),
eSign,
India Interface
for Money (Bharat Interface for Money- BHIM)
App and the DigiLocker
initiative are also expected to be expanded over the next few years.

12,300,000
people have been trained so far under the Prime Minister's Digital Literacy Campaign (Pradhan
Mantri Digital Saksharta Abhiyan
)
; including the 6,300,000
candidates who have already received their certification.

Regarding the digital payments initiative, the
Ministry said that the monthly the Bharat Interface for Money –Unidentified
Payment Interface (BHIM-UPI) transactions were at a record high of 190,000,000
transactions worth around US $3.9 billion in April 2018.

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