For its amplified focus on technology for achieving sustainable growth, the Union Budget 2023 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman has been lauded by India's technology leaders. According to a senior industry executive, one of the key highlights of the budget was the focus on technology development and skilling, which has been deemed essential for various industries in the face of emerging technologies.
Nitin Varma, Managing Director of India & SAARC, CrowdStrike, said that the budget holds “immense promise for technology development and skilling. “Today, developing new skills is essential for various industries with new and emerging technologies. In particular, cybersecurity is a field that is constantly evolving and requires regular upskilling through advanced training programs,” he said.
The rise of cyberattacks in recent years has placed a significant emphasis on the importance of skilling in the field of cybersecurity. Varma said the need for regular upskilling through advanced training programs in this field and praised the government's decision to invest in infrastructure and youth power, as it aligns with industry needs. He said, “Investments in infrastructure will have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment, leading to ramping up the virtuous cycle of investment and job creation.”
The budget also proposed the formulation of the National Education Policy, which will focus on skilling and facilitate job creation on a large scale. The government plans to launch a unified Skill India Digital platform, which will enable demand-based formal skilling, and expand the digital ecosystem for skilling. The proposed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is meant to provide skilling opportunities for youth and will encompass new age courses in fields such as coding, AI, robotics, and soft skills.
Another major focus of the budget was the promotion of Artificial Intelligence. The government has proposed three centres of excellence for AI, which Varma said is a great opportunity for industry players to collaborate in interdisciplinary research and develop cutting-edge applications. He said, “These initiatives will pave the way for building a workforce that will be skilled and ahead of the curve in their respective industry.”
The investment in infrastructure, youth power, and skilling initiatives, as well as the promotion of Artificial Intelligence, is seen as a step towards building a skilled and competitive workforce, said Varma.