We at Oracle are honoured that the Indian government has empanelled our cloud regions in Hyderabad and Mumbai, paving the way for central and state governments and government-owned companies nationwide to take advantage of our cloud services. This will help fulfill the Digital India vision – the watershed government initiative that is spreading high-speed digital infrastructure, digital government services, and digital literacy to even the most remote areas in the country.
The empanelment, which was granted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, designates Oracle as an approved cloud service provider in India. What that means is that all public sector institutions in India – including banks, oil and gas companies, ports and other enterprises that are fully or partially owned by the government – can move forward with deploying Oracle’s next-generation cloud infrastructure and application services, delivered from our two state-of-the-art cloud region data centers in the country.
Many different government ministries, departments, and institutions already use Oracle on-premise technology and applications. Among them are the finance, railways, income tax and corporate affairs departments; more than 29 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Karnataka; and government-owned enterprises such as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation or National Payments Corporation of India.
Recently, NITI Aayog, the Indian government’s public policy think tank, engaged Oracle to modernize its IT infrastructure in support of its Aspirational Districts Programme, aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens in 112 of India’s most backward districts, comprising 28% of the country’s population of 1.3 billion.
NITI Aayog is turning to a number of Oracle Cloud technologies to assimilate thousands of data points from multiple sources and in different formats for analysis and reporting. The commission will feed this data back to administrators, district collectors, government officers, and the general public via an intuitive dashboard.
Oracle Cloud technologies will free decision-makers to spend much more of their time acting on dashboard metrics to make a profound difference in our country. Conversely, they’ll have to spend much less of their time trying to navigate various data silos. It’s a huge win for citizens.
Even with the ongoing economic and humanitarian crises stemming from COVID-19, we are seeing tremendous digital progress in our country. For example, the number of internet users in India has more than doubled since 2015, the year the Digital India initiative was launched, from just over 300 million to 761 million in 2021, according to Statista, which projects that number will reach 876 million by 2023. Through programmes like Bharat Net, the Indian government is delivering high-speed broadband connectivity to 250,000 villages and encouraging industry players to lower their prices. The number of mobile phone users in the country rose from around 243 million in 2015 to about 470 million in 2021 and is on track to surpass 500 million by 2023, Statista estimates.
That expanding connectivity is bringing a range of innovative cloud services to citizens, businesses, and government institutions alike.
Across the board, cloud technology is speeding up project execution, introducing greater transparency, and delivering enterprise-grade efficiency. As the NITI Aayog example demonstrates, it’s also freeing up valuable human and financial resources to improve public services – and people’s lives.
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating India’s digitization. For example, in October 2020 the number of Universal Payments Interface transactions in the country crossed 1 billion a month for the first time, reflecting Indians’ increasing apetitite for digital spending. We’ve also seen the introduction of innovative health platforms, such as the open source CoWIN vaccination registration and monitoring platform used by millions of citizens nationwide.
Perhaps what is most exciting is that the economic value created will be proportionate to the extent of digital transformation, as cloud technologies stimulate innovation and improve efficiencies, while protecting institutions’ and citizens’ most valuable data assets. Cloud services can only accelerate India’s move toward becoming a digitally empowered society, bringing about a smarter, more inclusive future for everyone.