India will be a large data economy; will have data refinery: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Govt. to finalize data protection law soon, says Minister.

The government plans to cultivate India as a large data economy and as a precursor, the country will soon have its data protection law in place, said Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Opinion | The Data Protection Bill only weakens user rights

“We are keen to promote India as a large center for data economy and we will also finalize the data protection law very soon,” he said while speaking at the inaugural session of the Bengaluru Tech Summit, the annual tech exposition here on Thursday.

He further said data would drive the digital economy and international commerce, and that it offered ‘a great opportunity for India to emerge as a data economy’, supported by innovation and data refining. In a data economy, the raw material was data. India produces a ‘humongous’ amount of data in its digital ecosystem, be it mobile phones, Aadhaar database, e-commerce transactions, or e-payments.

Also read: What is India’s stand on data storage?

The government’s artificial intelligence policy was aimed at inclusion, in agriculture, education, and delivery without violation of ethics, he said.

“During the pandemic, the communications sector witnessed a growth of over 7% and received significant investments from major global companies,” he said in his address.

Watch | All about the Personal Data Protection Bill

Mr. Prasad said, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government received requests from Apple to shift nine of its units (components and manufacturing) from China to India.

“In your (addressing Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa) state, the Apple company has started production of its quality phones for India and the export markets,” he said.

According to Mr. Prasad, both Indian and global companies had committed ₹ 11 lakh crore in investments in the next five years in businesses related to mobiles and components manufacturing.

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