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Regulation of the Digital Ecosystem in India

  • Published
    15th Oct, 2022
Context

With several attempts of the government for regulating the Telecom sector and big giant techs like Google, Amazon, etc., the legislation seems to interfere with the structure of the Digital Ecosystem in India.

Let us see how it can help and to what extent.

Why digital ecosystem is on rising?

  • Increased penetration of smartphones
  • The coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated the process of digital inclusion
  • Adoption of Time-Saving Products and Services
  • Growing Interest in Customized Products

Recent Government measures for regulating the sector?

  • In 2022, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced the
    • draft amendment to the IT Rules 2021 (June 2022)
    • the draft India Data Accessibility and Use Policy (February 2022)
    • National Data Governance Framework Policy (May 2022)
    • the new cyber security directions (April 2022)
  • India is also working on a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement for its IT Act, 2000, which is expected to look at ensuring net neutrality and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms, among other things.

The Trendsetters: Digital Services Act (DSA): The European Union (EU) has given final approval to online safety-focused legislation, which is an overhaul of the region’s social media and e-commerce rules. US and Australia, also catching up: The US and Australian initiatives are still brewing, as are those in several other parts of the world. The principles of regulation are mostly aligned, reflecting their unease with the inconceivable growth and influence of Big Tech.

Why digital ecosystem is changing India?

  • Jan-Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity: Ensuring delivery of government schemes to its beneficiaries without leakage or misuse
  • SVAMITVA Yojana: Provided digital land records to the rightful owners by leveraging the power of drones and GIS technologies
  • Bharat Net: provided high-speed broadband to all the village
  • Common Service Centers (CSCs):  offering banking, insurance, state, and central government services, passport and PAN card services, digital literacy, rural eCommerce services, and pre-litigation advice, etc.
  • Digital payments revolution: UPI and Aadhaar-Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS), AEPS-based micro-ATM at CSCs and post offices.

Challenges

  • Political capture of the regulatory process
  • Few incentives and rewards for evidence-based decisions
  • Technology outsmarts regulators
  • Populist policies have harmed many countries.

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