The Internet of Things (IoT), which enables everyday objects to be inter-connected through the Internet, will help in the creation of 10-15 million jobs in India within the next few years, a senior bureaucrat said on Thursday.
"One of the reasons that IoT is particularly exciting for India is due to the job creation. It is estimated that about 10-15 million jobs will be created through IoT," said Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary in the Department of Telecommunications.
Sundararajan was speaking at the second edition of IoT India Congress 2017, organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) India, being held in the city.\
"A bulk of these jobs will be created not by large companies but by startups," she said.
While on the contrary, according to research and consultancy firm Zinnov's study in 2016, IoT is likely to lead to 94,000 job losses in the country by 2021, and a total of 120,000 jobs could be affected.
"IoT represents a paradigm that can overcome the deficits that India has been facing in terms of agriculture, healthcare, transportation, garbage disposal in our cities etc.," Sundararajan said.
According to the industry experts, about 65 per cent of startups in India are working on different aspects of IoT.
"The PM (Narendra Modi) has made it clear at the Champions of Change event (held in New Delhi on August 17 for entrepreneurs) that the government's role is only to facilitate and support. There's no point in government actually getting into these areas," Sundararajan told IANS on the sidelines of the event.
"There will be a regulatory framework set by the government which will outline how security will be dealt by the startups working on IoT," she said.
She added that India is becoming one of the world leaders in the IoT field.
"We have a lot of capability in software and most of the technological inventions are driven by software. If we marry that with the telecom capability, India can definitely be a leader in IoT space," the telecom department official said.
"With a vision to be a leader with regard to IoT, the government is working on security and data protection. Both security and data protection are going to be two of the most important areas on which government is working on right now.
"Once we have a full-fledged data protection law, the draft of which is expected by the end of this year or early next year, it will have a lot of impact on IoT as a lot of it has to do with privacy," Sundararajan added.
She noted that getting the next-generation networks, broadband and new technologies to the people of India would be the first and foremost mandate of the government.
"The new telecom policy will address the need to create an ecosystem of devices and support systems," Sundararajan added.
Talking about 5G entering the country, the bureaucrat also expressed that in the coming few months, the entire telecom in the country can be expected to get upgraded to 4G.
"I don't think it's going to happen overnight. Once the companies get upgraded to 4G initially, they will start getting ready for the 5G rollout, but there's still time ahead," she said.
"The new telecom policy will also see what quantum of investment is needed for technologies like 5G," Sundararajan added.
The second edition of IoT India Congress 2017 is being held over two days starting Thursday.
It will explore the application of IoT in fields of healthcare, manufacturing, telecom, smart living, Ganga river rejuvenation and financial inclusion through the participation of companies in these sectors.
"IoT can have a huge impact on our country in terms of the number of jobs it can create and the new business opportunities it gives way for," Shekhar Sanyal, the Country Head and Director IET India told IANS on the sidelines of the event.
"The IoT India Congress brings all the industry players onto the same platform and allows them to work together and bring forth solutions to the problems being faced by the world," Sanyal added.
Companies like General Electric, Philips, Tata Group, IBM, Microsoft and Accenture are part of the event to discuss the changes IoT can bring to the industry.