Budget 2023 Expectations: Driving beyond Bengaluru Mission – Driving Karnataka’s digital economy

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission seeks announcement of Emerging Digital Cluster Scheme, Global Technology Excellence Centre in budget 2023

As India races towards AatmaNirbharta, the Budget will give wings to the nation’s dreams of self-reliance and global dominance.

By Sanjeev Kumar Gupta

India has untapped opportunities in the manufacturing, engineering, and digitalization industries that can play a key role in the country’s vision of a $1 trillion digital economy. The thrust towards India’s digital transformation has the potential to empower unserved and underserved segments with special benefits to create employment zones in tier 2 and 3 cities with emerging tech clusters. The Beyond Bengaluru strategy, initiated by the Government of Karnataka and anchored by KDEM is spearheading the objective of proliferating the growth of the digital economy in clusters outside the city in line with the vision of a $1 trillion digital economy by the year 2026-27.

In the upcoming budget, we have 2 requests from the Government of India to consider announcing

    • Emerging Digital Cluster Scheme (EDCS)
    • Global Technology Excellence Centre (GTEC)

Earmark ‘Emerging Digital Cluster Scheme (EDCS)’ with an annual outlay of Rs 30,000 Cr for FY 2022-23 to grow 100 tier 2 and 3 cities as emerging digital clusters across the country by 2026. This will support state governments to set up the state’s digital economy mission, to focus on growing new Bharat across tier 2 & 3 cities of the state. With this activity, our objective is to increase the digital economy pie of the state GDP by 30% and have an overall contribution of 35% to the national GDP.

Each state to outline its ‘Digital Economy Mission Annual Plan’ which will focus on setting up emerging technology clusters in the state covering Class A infrastructure, policies, industry partnerships for academic institutions, future digital jobs, internships, and attract investments in the State in the field of technology. The Government of India will provide 75% of the planned fund and 25% from respective state governments. The outcome will be to have 100 new centers in the country where the new Bharat will be shown to the world and create local employment of 50 lakhs.

The digital economy will include the growth of IT/ITES industries across the state by attracting Global Capability Centres (GCCs), and special programs for hosting Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM). This will also help support the startup ecosystem in the state by addressing new emerging areas of the digital economy such as healthcare, education, women, panchayat raj, e-governance, skill development, and others.

Global Technology Excellence Centre (GTEC) – this is the 2nd proposal that India should set up 40 global technology excellence centers across the country, creating R&D movement, startups, and innovation networks. This will become the backbone of the new India R&D architecture. A separate program (Global Technology Excellence Centre Scheme) needs to be created in partnership with state governments on emerging technologies like AI/ML, clean tech, public digital assets, Medtech, Agritech, Edutech, mobility, telecom, fabless & others. For this announcement can be made for Rs 10000 Cr (Rs 250 Cr for each center) in the 2023-24 budget.

To be established in the next 12 months where the Government of India will fund 60%, 25% from the state government, and 15% from the industry. This will help us create new IPs & put India in the top 3 globally. This will also support the industry to grow with the global competitive products and create new employment opportunities of around 25 lakhs through this initiative by 2026.