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”.
The NDCP 2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and 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 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.
- These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.
The policy aims to:
- 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
- Facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy;
- Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and
- Secure digital communications infrastructure and services.
The policy advocates:-
- 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.
Background: As the present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom Sector such as 5G, loT, 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 by addressing emerging opportunities for expanding not only the availability of telecom services but also telecom based services.
Accordingly, the new National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has been formulated, in place of the existing National Telecom Policy 2012, to cater to the modern needs of the digital communications sector of India.