'India is clearly on the digital transformation fast track,' says Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India
By the year 2021, around 60 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to be derived from digital products and services. Created through the use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things and cloud computing, among others.
So says a study commissioned by information technology major Microsoft. It says digital transformation will add an estimated $154 billion to our GDP by 2021. "India is clearly on the digital transformation fast track," says Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India.
Organisations, he said, are increasingly deploying emerging technologies such as AI and that will accelerate this change-led growth even further, with the application of this in sectors such as education, health care and agriculture. "(Such) Technologies can really solve some fundamental problems and if applied the right way, could unlock a lot of potential," Maheshwari told Business Standard.
The catch, he says, is the need for a supportive framework in place that allows free and fair use of such technology.
To illustrate, he said Microsoft had applied AI in Andhra Pradesh schools, where the government wants to address the issue of high numbers of students exiting in class 10. "About 25 per cent of students drop out at 10th standard. If you can use AI to predict and identify why students want to drop out, you can pro-activel engage with the students or their families to keep them back in school...you can do so much for the economy," he said.
Similarly in health care. "Technology can play a role in providing facilities like preventive health care and augmented diagnosis to the needy. Then, there is agriculture, where productivity can be increased by 20-30 per cent, simply by using predictive technology."
The central government has formed a committee on AI to suggest a technical framework or platform for the emerging technology. It is chaired by P P Chakraborty, a professor at IIT, Kharagpur, and has representatives from Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA and TCS. Also, from Nasscom, the apex association of the information technology (IT) sector, beside the National Informatics Centre and the ministry of electronics and IT. Its recommendations are expected by the end of this month.