Union Budget: Indian IT's High Hopes On AI Advancements And Cybersecurity Boost

Hopes are high in the Indian IT sector as it anticipates policy focus on cybersecurity and advancements in AI in the upcoming budget
Finance Ministry, Budget
Finance Ministry, Budget

Last year proved to be dim for the Indian IT sector, mainly due to global headwinds and geopolitical uncertainties. However, the outlook for the IT industry this year appears more optimistic. The sector is expecting focus towards cybersecurity and the introduction of policies that promote public-private partnerships, in the upcoming budget that is just a few days away.

The government had increased the budget allocation for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to Rs 16,549.04 crore last year, from Rs 11,719.95 crore in the preceding year, marking a 40 per cent increase.

Saurabh Rai, CEO, Arahas Technologies said, "Prospects of a 20 per cent budget increase for this sector is high. This boost in funding is crucial for research, development, and fostering innovation. The introduction of policies promoting public-private partnerships, possibly including tax benefits for tech investments, is highly anticipated."

While this budget will be an interim one, suggesting that major announcements might not be prevalent, industry leaders remain hopeful, particularly considering the rapid establishment of AI, deepening its roots in every segment.

Rohan Vaidya, Area Vice President, India & SAARC, CyberArk expects increased investments in cutting-edge technologies to combat evolving threats. "The budget may also include specific provisions for AI applications in key sectors like healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and finance. The budget holds the key to reinforcing the nation's cyber resilience," he said.

Moreover, given the rising frequency of cyber attacks in the country, industry executives are also urging the inclusion of provisions to prioritize digital security. Last year, a report released by Microsoft indicated that India constitutes 13 per cent of cyber attacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, ranking among the top three most targeted countries.

While the percentage may appear small, the actual numbers may reveal a more alarming situation. From an alleged leak in the CoWIN portal to the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) data breach, coupled with the growing emphasis on promoting DPI (Digital Public Infrastructure), cybersecurity considerations may find a place in the upcoming budget.

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