The forward-looking Union Budget for 2023-24, presented by Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister, keeps the focus on leveraging and accelerating technology adoption for enabling and empowering India’s techade as well as India@100.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister

Enabling India-specific 5G Use Cases.

Setting-up 100 5G labs in engineering institutions will provide the much-needed impetus to realize the new opportunities that 5G posits, and develop India-specific 5G use cases in education, agriculture, transportation, and healthcare.

Over the past year, I have argued that the India use cases for 5G will not be merely content creation, gaming, or AR/VR, in the short-term. It will be all about leveraging 5G for fostering systemic enhancements in education, agriculture and healthcare, amongst others.

Harnessing AI

A tech-led future will be underpinned by AI.

As such, interdisciplinary R&D at the three new Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in AI will be key for enabling India-specific applications in agriculture, health and sustainable cities.

Betting big on Green Energy

The green energy initiatives pertaining to green fuel, green farming, and green mobility, amongst others, will fuel India’s progress towards its net zero carbon emissions by 2070.

Empowering the EV Ecosystem

The exception in customs duty on capital goods for lithium-ion battery manufacturing will spur PLI-linked investment inflows, contributing to deepened domestic value addition over the next four years.

As a consequence, more vehicles will ply with Made-in-India lithium batteries.

Skilling a future-ready, Quality Workforce

Building a skilled and quality workforce will be critical to capitalise on emerging technologies.

The setting-up of 30 Skill India International Centres focused on 3D Printing, AI, IoT and Drones, will provide the necessary impetus to enable and further advanced technical skills in the workforce.

The focus on Digital Epigraphy.

 While we aim at the future, we cannot forget our rich heritage.

The move to set-up a digital epigraphy museum, named Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (Bharat SHRI), at Hyderabad with the digitisation of one lakh ancient inscriptions in the first stage is a great step forward.

In essence, am enthused about the possibilities that the future holds.

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