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Budget 2019: How government plans to bridge the Digital Divide

Shubham Verma

Union Budget 2019: Over the last five-six years, India has seen a steep surge in the adoption of technology in various sectors. Now spoilt for choice, Indians are logging on more than ever – something analysts believe will catapult the country's ranking in the global Internet index. But, while the figures of Internet users in India have shown progress, the question of uneven distribution of technology, known as Digital Divide in the common parlance, is looming over government's Digital India initiative.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dragged the topic of Digital Divide into her budget speech, saying that the government will concentrate on upgrading the "quality of teaching in academic networks" to tap the global pool of new minds. This is to say that the government wants to modify India into a global education hub, facilitated by the most modern digital tools and related technologies, that will amass students from other countries.

In her speech, Sitharaman proposed an investment of Rs 400 crore to ensure India offers the 'World Class Education' by the year 2020. Government's Study in India programme will be expanded alongside to increase the footfall of foreign students in the country's educational institutes. This will accelerate the reach of the government's digital services to a large and diverse student base.

The government has also proposed to introduce training workshops for the country's youth in new-age skills to encourage them to take up high-paying jobs overseas. These skills include – Artificial Intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, and virtual reality.