Why in News?
- As the present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom Sector such as 5G, IoT, M2M etc.
- A need was being felt to introduce a ‘customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ policy for the Indian Telecom Sector, which can form the main pillar of Digital India.
- Hence the Union Cabinet has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.
National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) -2018 :
- The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the ICT needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment affordable digital communications infrastructure and services.
- The ‘Customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ NDCP-2018 shall lead to new ideas and innovations, after the launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. which shall govern the telecom sector of India.
- The key objectives of the policy which are to be achieved by 2022 are:
- Broadband for all;
- Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;
- Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017;
- Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;
- Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and
- Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
Major Features of the Policy:
- Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen
- Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022
- Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas
- Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector
- Train one million manpower for building New Age Skill
- Expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices
- Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals.
Strategy envisioned in the Policy:
- Establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority;
- Establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects;
- Creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardization of costs and timelines;
- Removal of barriers to approvals; and
- Facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks.