February 3, 2023( updated February 5) : It’s a wrap! This is our final tranche of comments on the Indian Union Budget 2023 from industry leaders:
Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona group of Education Institutions, Salem: The Union Finance Minister deserves compliments for prioritising early to higher education and skilling in the Union Budget 2023-24 through focus on setting up centres of excellence in Artificial Intelligence, creation of labs in 100 engineering institutions for developing smart 5G services-based applications. The series of pathbreaking moves to deploy digital technology in education for young children, school and college students as also training of teachers will give a fresh stimulus to MOOCS, NPTEL on Swayam platform. A national digital library in many languages, genres and levels to stimulate learning among young minds will supplement overall learning outcomes.Special focus on sustainability and green initiatives will take India closer to meeting its ESG goals.
The launch of re-imagined Skilling 4.0 and the newly minted Vishwakarma Kaushal Samaan initiative will help build capacity, train youth to pick industry relevant skills and preserve age old crafts thus ensuring livelihood for millions in the coming years.
Internet and Mobile Association of India: Some of the announcements such as Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture, National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents, Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (Bharat SHRI), online training platform iGOT Karmayogi to provide continuous learning opportunities for lakhs of government employees to upgrade their skills and facilitate people-centric approach, the establishment of e-Courts, are programmes that will take the digital to the marginalised.
Olivier Loison, Managing Director, Alstom India: We are glad to see the continued focus on infrastructure projects to improve connectivity and facilitate movement of goods and products across the country, will support in the development of indigenous industries, thereby contributing to the ‘Make in India’ ambition and making India ‘Aatmanirbhar’. This will lead to an uptake in sustainable and modern urban mobility solutions, like metros, in Tier II & III cities as well. To encourage logistics, we expect more impetus on freight movement by rail, which will create the demand for more electric locomotives of high horsepower, which will increase capacity and speed of goods transportation, while reducing emissions, to bring better efficiencies of scale and attain the vision of net zero emissions.
The National Hydrogen Mission will support India’s ambition of becoming the world’s first Green Railways, with a growing fleet of hydrogen-powered passenger trains. As the world’s first and only hydrogen train manufacturer with passenger service, we are following with great attention Indian Railway’s interest for hydrogen trains in coming years. Alstom would be glad to contribute to the transition to zero-emission solutions in India.
Aakrit Vaish, CEO and Cofounder at Haptik: With the implementation of 5G, the government has made it their mission to establish a Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence. The application and use of AI technologies have revolutionized a wide range of areas including e-commerce, retail, healthcare, BFSI (banking financial services & insurance), real estate, education and travel. By creating this hub for technological innovation we can continue to propel our nation forward into new heights! The budget presents a comprehensive analysis of the potential uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to bolster India's economy, and outlines numerous applications for this revolutionary technology. 100 laboratories will be established in engineering colleges across the nation so as to generate AI-based 5G services; likewise, three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence are slated to open up at top educational institutions. This government-led initiative has the potential to create a thriving AI ecosystem and cultivate an abundance of talented professionals in this field.
Manish Mittal, Head of Global Delivery and Country Head (India), Axtria: We are happy to note the announcement of three Centres of Excellences of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI can be integral to India’s policymaking framework as it supports interdisciplinary data analytics. The government can collate massive loads of data into a practicable whole and improve healthcare deliveries.
Sachit Nayak, Country Controller & Finance Director, Eaton, India: FM has touched major segments wherein significant investment outlay has been budgeted that are growth drivers i.e. Infrastructure, Railways, agriculture, MSMEs, cooperatives, etc. another notable thing is the discipline to get fiscal deficit to under 4.50% progressively in the next 3 fiscal years. Middle class income tax payers would be in happy camp with 5 key measures. This should help drive consumption thereby fueling growth in economy. Reducing basic customs duty structure, simplified tax structure and several sops for agriculture & cooperatives are positives.
Puneet Gupta, vice president & managing director, NetApp India/SAARC: From the government’s announcement of setting up of 100 5G labs and the development of 3 Centers of Excellence for AI, all of these will go a long way in unleashing the digital potential of the country. In a world that is driven by data and AI, we see numerous and infinite opportunities ahead of us.
RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India & Learnet Skills: The government’s enhanced focus on increasing education access in rural India in this year’s Union Budget is a welcome move and will have a positive impact on the country's literacy rate. It is also reassuring to see that teachers’ training has been given prominence; we look forward to witnessing its effective implementation in the year. This will help improve the quality of teaching and lead to better opportunities provided to students. What is also motivating is the announcement of the National Digital Library, which will encourage youth from diverse contexts to learn in a comprehensive manner.
Vishal Agrawal, MD, Avaya: The introduction of three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI work for India' is something to look forward to for the upcoming digital nation.The initiatives outlined for skill development and research in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and 5G, among others are encouraging for the IT industry.
The government’s initiative to set up 100 labs for 5G solutions across engineering colleges and the announcement around the National data governance framework will further empower the students, Indian start-ups, and researchers that will collectively help us achieve our collective vision for the 5 trillion economy.