The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has drafted an IoT policy (pdf), with the goal of creating an IoT industry in the country worth $15 billion by 2020.
The policy aims to increase the connected devices in the country from around 200 million to over 2.7 billion by 2020, to develop human resources and technology for IoT relevant skill-sets, to undertake research and development is IoT relevant fields, and to develop various IoT solutions specific to Indian needs in health, agriculture, water quality, transportation, automobiles, natural disaster, supply chain management and smart cities among others. Some of the key elements of smart cities will include smart parking, intelligent transport system, tele-care, women’s safety, smart grids, smart urban lighting, waste management, smart city maintenance, digital signage and water management.
In the budget this year, the government had allocated Rs 7060 crore for smart cities, which according to the DeitY will lead to massive and quick expansion of IoT in the country. Additionally DeitY mentions the Digital India program undertaken by it, to set up digital infrastructure in the country starting August this year, will help boost the IoT industry.
DeitY’s policy framework will be implemented through the five core components including:
Demonstrations Centres: This will include developing strategies for IoT in specific domains like smart cities and healthcare etc. DeitY will also allocate Rs 155 crores on PPP mode as 50% funding for at least 5 projects in different categories over three years. These categories include connected cities, water management, environmental regulations, remote health, waste management, safety, supply chain & logistics and agriculture.
R&D and Innovation: This will include funding IoT specific R&D in fields of technology enabling IoT and initiating cloud based open source projects for online collaboration. The DeitY will additionally undertake the project ‘International IoT Research collaboration scheme’ to collaborate and initiate treaties with other countries for joint R&D projects on 50% contribution basis.
Capacity Building & Incubation: For this ERNET as a nodal agency will partner 15 academic institutions, and the government will fund resource centres and test-beds as common experimental facilities for them. A budget of Rs 18 crores will be allocated by the government as 100% fund, including Rs 1 crore for each partner and Rs 3 crore for the nodal agency, over 5 years.
Additionally, Incubation centres (National Centre of Excellence) under PPP mode with NASSCOM and other industry players will be set up, to host startups, SMEs and students. This incubation centre will be setup in major cities and will house hardware design tools, wireless development kits, application sensors, software tools etc., that would otherwise be difficult for startups to afford. The government will provide Rs 100 crore in funds for this, with the rest coming from NASSCOM or other appointed associations.
Incentives & Engagements: This will include promoting Venture Funds of Electronic Development Fund (pdf), directed to support companies in IoT related domains like processors, sensors and other electronics, and launching a program to drive exports from IoT products and services. The government will also set up international global trade fairs to showcase the capabilities of Indian IoT companies, and will fund up-to 80% (maximum of Rs 6 lakh a year) of exhibition space cost for 1000 Indian SMEs, with a good credit rating by MSME.
Human Resource Development: The DeitY will launch a IoT Education and Awareness program to introduce IoT curriculum at M.Tech and B.Tech levels and PhD courses, along with certificate courses in IoT lasting 2-6 weeks. Additionally, five ‘Young’ faculty chairs will be created in each IIT for which the government will allocate Rs 4.5 crore for a period of five years.
Standardization: The framework implementation will be supported through government initiatives to standardize communications within and outside the cloud, spectrum energy and communications protocols, safety standards, privacy and security standards, standards for energy consumption and for International quality/integrity of data creation.
An expert committee for developing and adopting these standards will be created, comprising of industry experts in various IoT related domains.
Additionally, the report suggests setting up three supporting government agencies including:
– An Advisory Committee to provide guidance to emerging areas of IoT, comprising of government organizations, domain ministry members and various industry experts.
– A Governance Committee driven by Secretary of DietY and including representatives from the Government, to govern all IoT initiatives, projects and their progress.
– A Program Management Unit established and led by Director (IoT Operations and Smart City support) to identify find and provide support to various initiatives within the IoT policy and to track the performance and periodically review these initiatives.