Article: Budget 2024: Strategic investments are needed to propel India into a resilient and tech-driven future

Economy & Policy

Budget 2024: Strategic investments are needed to propel India into a resilient and tech-driven future

As India braces for its upcoming interim budget in 2024, prominent industry figures call for strategic investments, innovative policies, and a holistic approach to leverage technology, particularly in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and DeepTech.
Budget 2024: Strategic investments are needed to propel India into a resilient and tech-driven future

Industry leaders call for strategic investments, innovative policies, and a comprehensive approach in the upcoming interim budget 2024 to propel India into a technologically advanced and sustainable future. The expectations center around fostering innovation, and supporting and preparing the youth for a tech-centric world. As India navigates global challenges, these leaders see the budget as a crucial tool for shaping a resilient and forward-looking nation.

Vineet Nayar Former CEO of HCL Technologies and Founder and chairman of Sampark Foundation, calls for strategic funding to support AI-driven educational models, digital infrastructure, and AI literacy. “Such initiatives must extend beyond conventional classrooms, ensuring equitable access across socio-economic strata.”

According to Nayar, investments in AI research, especially in educational applications, are vital. Collaboration between educational institutions and industry can accelerate AI solutions for educational needs. Teacher training in AI, developing AI-enabled learning tools, and democratising technology access are essential for an AI-ready generation. The Union Budget 2024 should not only increase allocation but strategically channel resources for AI embedding in education,” adds Nayar.

Quintessential to invest in DeepTech

"Technology is the great equalizer but DeepTech is the great multiplier. Technology has practically transformed the way we work and live. However, advancements in DeepTech such as Artificial Intelligence have a ‘multiplier change effect’ not just in one particular field, but across industries right from national defense to payments to aerospace. Adding to it, this change delta is not just incremental, but exponential. Hence, it becomes quintessential for India to invest into homegrown Innovation,” says Avi Dahiya, the Founder & CEO of Twyn.

Srinivasa Bharathy, CEO & MD, Adrenalin eSystem, anticipates a budget geared towards reinforcing India's position as a global technology powerhouse. “The resilience of our domestic economy amid worldwide volatility has been remarkable. With India's GDP surging by 7.6% in Q3 of 2023 and an impressive 7.8% in Q1 of FY24, our nation stands out, thanks to vigorous internal demand even as a worldwide economic deceleration impacts exports. The upcoming budget is expected to adopt a balanced approach. We foresee an interim financial plan that will address immediate fiscal needs while laying the groundwork for a comprehensive budget that will steer long-term economic strategy.”

Manikanth Challa, CEO and founder, Workruit, anticipates a continuous investment in education and comprehensive skill-building for students, with a focus on holistic development that aligns education, employment, and health to foster a resilient and inclusive economy. “Bridging the digital divide, especially in rural areas, and promoting online education initiatives are critical expectations.”

In the realm of employment, Manikanth expects programs aimed at job creation, particularly in sectors affected by the pandemic. “Skill development initiatives, aligning the workforce with emerging market demands, and support for entrepreneurship are seen as instrumental in stimulating economic growth and creating job opportunities. Our overarching hope is for a budget that seamlessly integrates education, employment, and health, leveraging digital technologies to enhance efficiency, transparency, and inclusivity across these crucial sectors. Ultimately, this approach aims to propel India towards a resilient and digitally empowered future".

Construction, education, media and entertainment, retail, travel and tourism, healthcare, transportation and logistics, and financial services to name a few have wider application of AI. According to a LinkedIn report, India is among the top 5 countries with the fastest-growing AI talent. A research report by Accenture estimates AI to boost India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points by 2035.

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Topics: Economy & Policy, Business, #Budget2024

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