- FM has made several technology-related announcements in the past
- The government has reduced tariffs on camera lenses for smartphones and opening cells for television panels.
- The government has also announced centers of excellence for artificial intelligence and 100 5G labs.
Minister of Finance
It has also lowered fees for smartphone components such as the camera lens and open-cell television panels. The government also announced that it is in the process of establishing three new centers of excellence in artificial intelligence (AI), 100 5G labs and more.
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Smartphones may get cheaper
The government has reduced tariffs on camera lenses used in smartphones from 2.5% to nothing. This will reduce the cost incurred by smartphone companies and may lead to lower cost of smartphones for users.
We’ll have to wait and see if companies pass on the benefit to customers and if so, by how much.
“The move to reduce tariffs on certain parts of the input components of mobile phones will help drive the expansion and deepening of the domestic component ecosystem and increase local added value. A very positive step,” said Muralikrishnan B, President, Xiaomi India.
Televisions may get cheaper
The Secretary of State also lowered the duty on open cells for television panels from 5% to 2.5%. This will reduce the manufacturing cost of TVs and also boost domestic production.
We welcome the government’s move to reduce the duty on open cells to 2.5%. This will really help the domestic TV industry to expand and compete with global brands,” said Avneet Singh Marwa, CEO of Kodak licensee Super Plastronics.
Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence
Sitharaman also announced that the government is in the process of setting up three centers of excellence in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the government’s ‘Make AI India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ initiatives.
The centers will be established in prominent educational institutions in the country and will witness collaboration between these institutions and industries to research and develop practical AI applications in agriculture, health and sustainable cities.
“Using data as an asset to guide insights requires two critical things – the availability of reliable data and the ability to cross-reference data across multiple datasets, and the consortium budget has effectively addressed both issues. Against the backdrop of data governance policy, bringing academia and businesses on a common platform will enable innovation across instances “This will strengthen India’s leadership in AI to solve grassroots problems,” said Sudipta Ghosh, Partner and Lead, Data & Analytics, PwC India.
100 5G labs
As the telecom companies are rolling out 5G services in full swing across the country. FM announced that it is setting up 100 5G labs in top engineering institutions across the country to develop 5G applications and services.
One hundred 5G application development labs will be established in engineering organizations to realize a new set of opportunities, business models and employment possibilities. The labs will cover, among others, applications such as smart classrooms, precision agriculture, intelligent transportation systems, and healthcare applications.”
“By promoting an AI ecosystem, 5G labs, and creating skill centers for emerging technologies, India will get a boost in multidisciplinary research and development,” said Manpreet Singh Ahuja, Partner & Leader TMT, PwC India.
“We welcome the announcement of the establishment of 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 100 laboratories in colleges of engineering to develop 5G applications, which are progressive steps and will help boost 5G deployment and ecosystem in the country,” said Lt. Gen. Dr S. P. Kochar, Director General, COAI.
National data management policy
Sitharaman also announced that the government will put in place a National Data Governance Policy to help academia and startups with anonymized data.
“To unleash innovation and research by startups and academia, a data governance policy will be introduced. This will enable access to anonymized data,” said the minister.
National Digital Library
In another push for education, the government will create the National Digital Library, which gives young people access to quality books across subjects, languages and genres.
In addition, the states will be encouraged to establish physical libraries at the level of panchayats and pavilions and to provide the infrastructure to access the resources of the National Digital Library.
Muralikrishnan B added.
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