The Union Cabinet on February 28, 2019 has approved the National Policy on Software Products to develop India as a Software Product Nation and aims to formulate several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of Software products sector in the country and also, to position India as a hub for software products development. The drive behind this policy is to accelerate the growth of entire spectrum of IT industry in the country. The preamble of the Policy states that according to NASSCOM the Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (IT-ITES) industry is generating an estimated revenue of around USD 168 billion, including export of USD 126 billion on an annual basis, which is around 8% contribution to India’s GDP. The industry is also one of the largest organised sector employers, generating nearly 14 million direct and indirect jobs. It is further estimated that the industry can contribute up to 350 billion USD accounting to 10 percent of India’s GDP by 2025.
The policy talks about the positive aspects of developing the software product industry and in order to keep pace with the advancement of technology globally, higher level of innovations are required for leveraging new and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Block Chain etc. to the maximum advantage across sectors of the economy. The “National Policy on Software Product” (NPSP) is the first significant step towards achieving this goal. The objective behind the policy is to create a software product hub in the Country driven by innovation, improved commercialization, sustainable Intellectual property (IP), promoting technology start-ups and specialized skill sets, for development of the sector, based on ICT.
Mission behind the policy
- Increase in share of the Global Software product market by 2025 by promoting the creation of a sustainable Indian software product industry, driven by intellectual property (IP).
- To nurture 10,000 technology startups in software product industry, including 1000 such technology startups in Tier-II and Tier-III towns & cities and generating direct and in-direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
- Creation of talent pool through (i) up-skilling of 1,000,000 IT professionals, (ii) motivating 100,000 school and college students and (iii) specialize 10,000 professionals that can provide leadership.
- Development of 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development having integrated ICT infrastructure, marketing, incubation, R&D/test beds and mentoring support.
- National Software Products Mission will be set up with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.
- Software Product Development Fund (SPDF) with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Crore will be created which will participate in venture fund to provide risk capital so as to promote scaling up of market ready Software Products.
- Programmes to be initiated, to solve societal challenges such as in Education, Healthcare, Sanitation, Agriculture, persons with special needs (Divyangjan) etc in collaboration with line Ministries, state governments and Industry Bodies/ Think Tanks, to create 20 domain specific Indian software product clusters around existing industry concentrations, such as in automobile, textile, financial services, electronic manufacturing, energy etc.
- A FutureSkills programme has been initiated for upskilling/re-skilling of 3 million IT Professionals in emerging technologies, a national “Talent Accelerator” programme targeting, 100,000 school and college students, will be initiated for motivating young talent for software product development.
- The registry of Indian software products will be integrated with Government e-market (GeM).
- Encouragement of Indian Product Startups / MSMEs to develop solutions for Smart Cities, healthcare, agriculture, e-learning, transport, fin-tech and addressing social challenges, such as, bridging digital divide, gender inequality, empowering the less privileged citizens and divyangjans.
- Implementation of open APIs will be proactively promoted both for public and private sector.
- Development of an enabling framework for the inclusion of Indian software product in Government procurement in line with the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017.
- Establishment of “National Software Product Mission (NSPM)” by the Government to be housed in Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
- The Policy will be implemented by MeitY through implementation of appropriate programmes & schemes, as per recommendation of NSPM.
The Government has approved the National Policy for Software products in order to promote innovation, improved commercialization and sustainable Intellectual Property. It is important to move up with value chain through technology oriented products and services to ensure sustainibilty.