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India Aims for $7 Trillion Economy by 2030, Focusing on Advanced Technology

by Nita Mishra

In the latest budget announcement for 2024-2025, the Indian government has earmarked 1 lakh crore for long-term funding of Research and Development (R&D), with a special emphasis on cutting-edge technologies including Quantum Technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Semiconductors, Clean Energy, Green Hydrogen, and Bioeconomy.

Critical and Emerging Technologies in India

Quantum Technology:
Quantum Technology operates on principles from Quantum mechanics, allowing for the processing of information in ‘qubits’ rather than traditional ‘bits’, leading to powerful computation capabilities. This technology enables a single processor to perform tasks equivalent to multiple classical computers, thanks to quantum superposition.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):
AI empowers computers to perform tasks requiring human-like intelligence and judgment. Subsets like Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) techniques enable computers to learn from vast amounts of data, aiding in various sectors from agriculture to healthcare.

Semiconductors are vital for modern electronics, with India’s market standing at USD 27 Billion in 2022. However, over 90% is imported, highlighting the country’s significant reliance on external sources. Initiatives are underway to bolster domestic semiconductor production to meet the growing demand, expected to reach USD 55 Billion by 2026.

Clean Energy:
Renewable and zero-emission sources like solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy are pivotal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change. The focus on clean energy aims to improve air quality and sustainability.

Green Hydrogen:
Produced through electrolysis of water using renewable energy, green hydrogen holds promise in industries like chemicals, petrochemicals, and steel production, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Bioeconomics focuses on sustainable use and conservation of biological resources, aiming for a more eco-friendly economy. Initiatives in this area aim to harness biological resources for economic growth.

Government Initiatives for Technology Advancement

  • iDEX: Launched in 2018, iDEX fosters innovation in Defence and Aerospace sectors, providing funding to startups and research institutes.
  • iCET Initiative: A collaboration between India and the US, focusing on scientific research and development, quantum, AI, and defence innovation.
  • National Quantum Mission: Aims to boost quantum technology research and industrial development.
  • Artificial Intelligence Mission: Aims to establish robust AI computing capabilities within India, focusing on sectors like agriculture and healthcare.
  • India Semiconductor Mission: Launched in 2021, this program aims to develop a sustainable semiconductor ecosystem within the country.
  • National Green Hydrogen Mission: A program to promote the production and use of green hydrogen as a clean fuel source.
  • National Mission on Bioeconomy: Focused on utilizing bio-resources for economic growth and sustainability.

Challenges and Future Directions

  • Funding Gap: India’s current R&D investment stands at 0.7% of GDP, significantly lower than global leaders. Encouraging private sector involvement and increasing funding is crucial.
  • Infrastructure and Skill Gap: Advancing technologies require robust infrastructure and skilled workforce.
  • Private Sector Involvement: While government initiatives support startups, more private sector participation is needed for sustained growth.
  • International Collaboration: Collaborating with global partners is essential for competitiveness in emerging technologies.

Way Forward

  • Boosting Investment: Incentivize public and private sector investment in R&D.
  • Enhancing Research Infrastructure: Upgrade laboratories and computing facilities.
  • Adapting Regulatory Framework: Establish dynamic regulations for emerging tech.
  • Clarifying Intellectual Property Rights: Develop clear policies for IP protection.
  • Securing Critical Raw Materials: Diversify sources to reduce import dependence.
  • Promoting Collaboration and Skill Development: Encourage academia-industry partnerships for knowledge exchange.

India’s strategic focus on advanced technology and innovation aims to propel its economy to new heights, fostering sustainability and growth in emerging sectors.

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