India will go from a data poor to data rich nation in three years, Nandan Nilekani, chairman, EkStep and former chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India, said on Tuesday.
He spoke on the ‘strategic implications’ and ‘the right strategy’ to be adopted by the country to use the data for the public good. “It is not a technology issue, but a policy issue. There are three main components — data colonisation, privacy and a ‘winner takes it all’ approach.”
The amount of data in the world today is equal to every person in the U.S. tweeting three tweets per minute for 26,976 years and every person in the world having more than 215 million high-resolution MRI scans a day, according to data collated by U.S.-based Waterford Solutions, e-mail and file management solutions company. 2.7 Zetabytes of data exists in the digital universe today.
“A tsunami is going to hit us,” Mr. Nilekani said. “Most Indians will be digitally rich before they become economically rich.
“There is a knowledge asymmetry when it comes to giving loans to the poor. Now with the GSTN, Aadhaar and UPI, one can find out if a small businessman is worthy of being given a loan as his banks can digitally look at the performance of his business. The GSTN network will lay a large platform for businesses through its e-way bill and BharatBill payments. The Aadhaar will provide the base. India has a robust authentication structure in place, like PAN, which can safely authenticate a person. India is in a unique position.”
India is working on a paperless and cashless service delivery system that will enable the government, citizens and entrepreneurs to interact with each other through an open digital platform. The IndiaStack programme is the largest application programming interface that is being developed in order to enable 1.2 billion Indians to get access to goods and services digitally.
“The right thing to do is to enable the data to empower its user. It can be used for re-skilling them. Also, the government can manage its economic data. For example, it can say whether the demand for cold rolled steel has gone up or down,” Mr. Nilekani said. “For digital democracy, government must unlock public data and bring in a new law to prevent misuse of data.”
Globally, more than 200 billion high definition movies — which would take a person 47 million years to watch — have been created and, according to estimates, the volume of business data worldwide, across all companies, doubles every 1.2 years, says Waterford Solutions. YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video every minute of the day. 571 new websites are created every minute of the day.
IDC estimates that by 2020, business transactions on the Internet — business-to-business and business-to-consumer — will reach 450 billion per day.