The creation of the nationwide digital infrastructure allied with new tools and technologies,which is what we hear almost every day. AI, ML, Big Data, and so on have started to galvanize various sectors to improve the well-being of every Indian, ranging from agriculture to natural resource management, health transportation and so much more. The SKOCH Group has organized the session on Digital Transformation & Inclusive Growth to return actionable recommendations, including access to entitlements, banking payments, creditmarkets, and development opportunities, and indeed the most crucial part, the place of womenin this. Modi’s Odyssey is a product of Digital India. In reality, Digital India provided several useful proposals, including the linked government and extinguishing cash, which the RBI is currently figuring out at CBDC as CBDC.One of the most important works in the area of inclusion was presented by the Rangarajan committee report, out of which came the entire financial inclusion roadmap; it was a reasonably long time back, and even then, and today this complete understanding of the world including and inclusive growth leads, leaves a lot to be desired.
Issues with Digital Transformation and Inclusive Growth
Inclusive growth stands on three pillars, digital inclusion, social inclusion, and financial inclusion.All three areas have seen improvement and initiatives, though not always at the same rate. Various progress has been made and initiatives were taken in all three areas, but not at the same speed. There is a coordination failure. People do not understand what the word means; people don’t understand what financial inclusion means or what social inclusion or digital here; the real battle is with the mindsets.In the northeast, if we look at it and talk about digital transformation, especially regarding financial inclusion. First is the infrastructure itself. Now, considering the infrastructure, the internet penetration for men in Assam is among the lowest in the country. Smartphone usage again is low. It is at about 21-22 odd %. So, that is worrying for the state because ultimately, if you want people to transact online, if you want people to get on board, etc., mobile smartphones would be an integral part of it. On the other part, in terms of the government doing digital inclusion ultimately will be Adhar and that will be there for the financial inclusion part, the DBT and the financial benefits.
Firstly, how do we ensure people are skilled in using the services? Because if their e-commerce is booming, and people are aware of how technology is used for increasing sales volumes, how can we provide the same benefits to an artisan or a handicraft person who has the skills of making to access markets? How do we enable him? How do we give a skill so that he also benefits from it? How do we provide these technologies to farmers so that they can access markets regarding Mandi prices which are made available online now?
Secondly, the other part is that we have about seventy or 80 million people on the internet economy in India, but there are 500 million more people to be on-boarded. And to do that, we need to use language technologies and ensure that more and more services are available in any language, which will ensure people can access services that are not there today.Thirdly, how do we ensure that anybody who wants credit and is worthy of getting credit gets the gram credit? This could be done with the help of the transfer of information. In the last two decades, we have seen the development of infrastructure for banking. However, the government’s next step would be to make information transfer easy. This would connect every person to the banking system. It would ensure that a person can get credit even if he sells food on the street.
The government should work on making information transfer easier.
Efforts should be made to make technology accessible to every aspect of an Indian’s daily life.
Special attention should be given to transparency on the supply side of government support.
Language technologies should be explored to ensure that more and more services are available in any language, enabling people to access unavailable services today.
Efforts should be made to improve the banking infrastructure so that every person is connected with the banking system.
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Inclusion is the first magazine dedicated to exploring issues at the intersection of development agendas and digital, financial and social inclusion. The magazine makes complex policy analyses accessible for a diverse audience of policymakers, administrators, civil society and academicians. Grassroots-focused, outcome-oriented analysis is the cornerstone of the work done at Inclusion.