The objectives of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) will promote the usage of ICT which will directly result in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), R.S. Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Sunday.
"India adopted NDCP in the year 2018 with specified strategic objectives to be achieved by the year 2022," Sharma said in a message commemorating the 51st World Telecom and Information Society Day (WTISD). The United Nations (UN) celebrates WTISD every year and the theme for this year is "Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".
"One of the important objectives of the NDCP is to create a robust digital communication infrastructure, which can be used for development in various sectors including education, healthcare, energy, employment, innovation, etc.," Sharma added.
The TRAI Chairman also recognised the role of telecom service providers in protecting the economy and supporting the sudden surge in Internet traffic due to increased economic and other online activities during the current COVID 19 pandemic crisis.
He stated that service providers have taken every step to keep up their network to ensure seamless connectivity which helped in the growth of digital economy manifold during this unprecedented pandemic situation.
A recent report by research firm techARC in collaboration with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) highlighted the growing role of telecommunications in the economy. The new normal will see an increase in enablement through telecom.
Other than the present 6 per cent direct contribution to the GDP, the sector is enabling 30-35 per cent of the GDP during the present COVID-19 lockdown period. Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI recently said that the telecom sector has immensely contributed to keeping the country connected during the last 25 years and kept 1 billion people connected during the current lockdown situation.
Mathews earlier also stated that despite the precarious financial health, the industry will do everything in its power to ensure that its networks will continue to function as a vibrant, essential component of the nation's economic and communications health and well-being.
Adoption of new technologies including 5G, Industry 4.0, IoT, Fibre to the Home/Premise is expected to be faster to support the irreversible shifts that have happened due to the pandemic situation.
Areas like telemedicine, e-education, drone surveillance and industry 4.0 likely to see a surge in demand.