A digital bridge

The first tranche of the $10-billion fund introduced by Google to ostensibly drive the Digital India programme has gone into the kitty of Reliance Industries’ digital unit, Jio Platforms. Alphabet conglomerate CEO Sundar Pichai, who had a digital interplay with PM Narendra Modi earlier this week, has acknowledged that the Jio outlay is the largest funding Google would make underneath its digitisation fund. With an funding of $4.5 billion (round Rs 33,750 crore), the US tech big will get a 7.7 per cent stake within the unit that runs Reliance’s music, film apps and telecom ventures. Several large gamers have invested in Jio Platforms over the previous few weeks, together with Facebook, Qualcomm and Intel Corp. Considering the large Indian market ready to be tapped, it’s not stunning that Google has jumped on to the bandwagon.

The Google-Jio tie-up may show to be a win-win scenario for each corporations as they may collaborate to construct an Android-based working system for a low-cost 4G/5G smartphone that will likely be tailored for Indian customers. Around 35 crore customers — almost one-fourth of the nation’s inhabitants — nonetheless have a 2G characteristic telephone, which lacks the superior performance of a smartphone. The key query is: will the partnership become simply one other mutually helpful association or will it play a key position in bridging the divide between the digital haves and have-nots?

The advantages of an bold collaboration must percolate right down to the bottom stratum of society, enabling even the poorest of the poor to entry digital providers offered by the federal government in addition to the non-public sector. The pact additionally needs to be dovetailed with Atmanirbhar Bharat in order that ample employment alternatives are generated to spur self-reliance. The authorities can transfer nearer in direction of realising its imaginative and prescient of ‘transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy’ by facilitating the creation of dynamic entrepreneurs, not software program ‘coolies’. It’s crucial to accord precedence to analysis & growth in addition to innovation in order that India comes up with international merchandise which remodel individuals’s lives. What the powers that be want to make sure is a degree taking part in subject, not letting a behemoth sweep the board.

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