Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will bring out a consultation paper to further strengthen digital inclusion in the country, and devices, connectivity as well as literacy will be three key aspects it will dwell into. TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela said that the consultation paper in this regard, will be released in the coming months.
The upcoming consultation paper is expected to look at three key aspects -- devices, connectivity and literacy, Vaghela said on the sidelines of India Digital Summit 2023, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Vaghela, while speaking at the event, said: "We are planning to come out with a consultation paper to comprehensively address and look at further strengthening digital inclusion in the country." He, however, did not divulge other details. The move assumes significance since 5G device prices at the moment are perceived to be pricier by the masses, even as massive next-generation networks are speedily rolling out across the country.
It is pertinent to mention that 5G services were launched on October 1, 2022, and within a span of 100 days have been rolled out in 200-plus cities across the country. The TRAI Chief, during his address at the IAMAI event, also outlined eight crucial challenges and said increased emphasis on these would accelerate digital momentum in the country in the next 25 years. These areas include revamp of digital governance infrastructure, challenges arising out of convergence and reduced investment cycles due to technological disruptions, and keeping technology at the core of policy formulations.
India has set a shining example globally with its success in the digital public good ecosystem like Aadhaar, UPI and Digilocker, and many countries have approached India for replicating these systems. "Going forward, we need to focus more on creating a thriving application, an innovation ecosystem, that can use these digital public goods to solve socio-economic problems."We need to construct our own distinctive model of digital innovation focused on solving socio economic issues in contrast with the models that are popular in other developed nations and that largely emphasise on monetary benefits," Vaghela said. Challenges likely to arise due to "blurring sectoral and national regulatory boundaries in wake of technological convergence", will have to be addressed. Metaverse, as it develops, will progressively start influencing the Indian socio economic scene, in a substantial manner.
"In Amrit Kaal, we need to come up with an effective administration and governance structure for the metaverse which may mirror the governance structure of the physical world," the top official said. Other crucial areas emphasised by Vaghela were around identifying appropriate technologies, keeping in mind demographic advantage, the strength of IT skills and SME sector, as well as focus on boosting local manufacturing of digital equipment. Strengthening cybersecurity, bringing in vibrant privacy law and protecting citizens from spam and frauds, was also among the focus areas listed by him. Vaghela said that TRAI intended to regulate the sector with transparency while also promoting competition and safeguarding the rights of citizens. "The road ahead is full of exciting challenges and opportunities and one thing is certain that the future of India rests on our ability to embrace new technologies, respond to technology disruptions and seize the right opportunities," he said.