Questions about Digital India

Posted on July 6, 2015  /  0 Comments

I was reminded of Pramod Mahajan, a former Minister who died tragically. He was responsible for “unifying” the Ministry of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT. He also said Indian succeeded in IT and beauty only because the government was not involved. Echoes of Mahajan are heard in these reactions to Prime Minister Modi’s launch of Digital India.

While Mr. Modi spoke of empowering young people to build start-ups and innovate, Mr. Pahwa complained of byzantine regulations for technology companies. He cited the government’s efforts to regulate Uber, the American ride-hailing company.

Entrepreneurs complain that online payments in India have also been hamstrung by a series of measures.

Some expressed skepticism that the government could keep its promises.

“The Internet in India has grown despite government policy, not because of government policy,” said Mr. Pahwa, who also worked on a campaign in India for net neutrality, a concept that all data should be treated equally.

It seems that in addition to the Minister responsible for executing Digital India plans, another should be appointed to challenge the bureaucratic barrier that are already in place or being imposed by the undead license raj.

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