Public sector and industry experts shared insights on reimagining governance
Discussions focused on the future of critical sectors like healthcare, energy, education and urban development
New Delhi, November 6, 2020: Senior government and public sector leaders came together to share insights on the future of governance at the Microsoft Digital Governance Cloud & AI Summit, held today. The summit celebrates innovation and digital transformation in the public sector.
Sharing this vision, public sector officials, industry bodies and experts deliberated on the role of technologies like the cloud, AI and IoT in reimagining digital governance and citizen services across critical sectors like healthcare, energy, education, urban development and e-governance. Anchoring the dialogue at the summit, Microsoft shared its commitment to partner with the public sector ecosystem in the country, with the technology and tools required to accelerate digital success.
In a fire-side chat, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India and Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India, discussed the importance of building long-term value and resilience in these times of change.
Calling for a collaborative effort, Ajay Sawhney said, “The last few months have highlighted the importance of digital systems and today our lives revolve around what we are able to do using technology. The government is looking to create collaborative mechanisms with the private sector to participate in problem solving by using new technologies. We are excited about the potential of data analytics and AI technologies. We are also looking at ways in which the startup ecosystem and SMBs can participate with value added services on top of these platforms, to make use of AI technologies, blockchain, geospatial technologies, AR/VR. It will be critical to create a digital ecosystem, where it is not just the government which works in a silo trying to provide services to the citizens, but we are able to create opportunities for others who are attempting to provide similar services to join in and build on top of these platforms in a fair and trustworthy manner.”
Speaking about the summit, Anant Maheshwari said, “An inclusive economic recovery requires innovation and a disruptive pace. The public sector has been using technology to not only rebound from the crisis, but also emerge at the forefront of digital transformation in India. Cloud and AI are playing a central role in reshaping education, health, public services, MSME and agriculture. Microsoft is committed to partnering with the public sector to enable a technology led transformation and build a strong digital skilling ecosystem that empowers everyone to benefit from technology.”
Chief Guest Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State for Education, Communications and Electronics & IT, Govt. of India, shared how India has been at the forefront of digital acceleration. “Modern technology today has unprecedently expanded horizons of public delivery in all sectors of the economy. Today the digital platforms, remote working, online education, and other such interventions are no more an option, but a necessity especially after COVID-19. India has outshined many developed countries with prompt action and rapid development especially in terms of adopting technology.”
He also elaborated on the need for leading change with AI, “Our Ministry has been proactive in taking steps to leverage AI for inclusive growth, good governance, and empowerment of common citizens. Taking a step ahead from public digital platform like Aadhaar, GeM, GSTN and UPI, the Ministry of Electronics and IT is working on setting up several platforms for health, agriculture, education, logistics, language translation and more. “
Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India, said “The pandemic has given a big push to this new normal. The digital transformation we hoped to achieve in the next 3-5 years has happened in just 6-8 months. We believe that this will be a sustainable change in the way people perceive digital, and interact with the government, and businesses. The ‘Digital India’ program by the Indian government was launched with a similar vision, which seeks to infuse digital in everything that we do. The efforts that we are currently leading in e-governance are part of this vision, where we aim to transform the economy through digital technologies to achieve the level of $1 trillion of economy’s contribution to the overall GDP. We are working actively with all the departments of the government of India, states and the private sector to achieve this vision in the next five years. We are also making efforts to create awareness among the people about the security of these technologies to gain their trust and confidence.”
Abhishek Singh, MD & CEO, Digital India Corporation & President & CEO, NeGD & CEO, MyGov, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India, spoke about the need for innovation in governance. “The people of India have always been innovative, and the government is looking to tap into this culture of innovation to deliver better citizen services by tapping into the private sector and startup ecosystem. We are looking at using technology to drive efficiencies and bring about institutional change. The pandemic has brought greater focus on using technology for better governance and we are looking at prioritizing key areas like healthcare, education, agriculture and skill development. For these innovations and collaborations to succeed, there has to be a trust among all stakeholders to deliver the projects on time and that is a key area for the technology sector to focus on.”
The summit also saw participation from senior leaders from state governments. In a panel focused on a cloud-first approach for states, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) Department and Industries & Commerce Department, Govt. of Telangana, Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Govt. of Odisha, Sibin C, Special Secretary-cum-Director, Department and Industries & Commerce, Govt of Punjab, Dr. B Sundar, Special Secretary, IT Electronics & Communications Department, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and Neha Prakash, Special Secretary Department of IT & Electronics, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and MD- UPDESCo & Shreetron India Limited, discussed the cloud opportunity and the role that digital transformation will play in accelerating change in state governments.
Microsoft is deeply invested in the digital transformation of the government ecosystem in India and has been working closely with central and state governments across the country to deliver critical digital skills and technology to accelerate their digital success.
About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 13,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian start-ups, businesses, and government organizations.