The year 2022 was significant for India’s digital journey. This year we have seen India take a big step towards its Make in India dream, attracting large investments from manufacturers such as Foxconn and Vedanta. We’ve also seen Apple up its ante in India, starting the manufacturing process for its iPhone 14 series in India shortly after its official global launch. Additionally, we saw 5G network catching on in India, with telecom operators Jio and Airtel aggressively expanding network coverage to large parts of the country. Also read – The launch of the Redmi K60 series is scheduled for December 27: check the details
In the fintech space, we saw India’s digital payments gateway ie UPI expand to more countries around the world. We also saw India adopt its own digital currency in the form of Digital Rupee for RBI-approved transactions. Also Read – Jio Launches Rs 2023 New Year Plan in India: Check Offer Details
As 2022 approaches, let’s take a look back at all the major milestones in India’s tech journey this year… Also read – Airtel brings its 5G Plus network to Pune: see details here
5G arrives in India
The launch and roll-out of 5G mobile network is perhaps one of the most important milestones achieved by India in 2022. 5G was officially launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the opening day of India Mobile Congress 2022 in October this year. Shortly thereafter, two major telecom operators in India, namely Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, began rolling out their 5G networks in different parts of the country. Today, almost three months after the official launch, 5G connectivity is available in around 60 cities across the country. The list includes cities such as Kochi, Nathdwara, Imphal, Ahmedabad and Vizag, among others. While Jio has promised to provide pan-India 5G coverage by December 2023, Airtel has promised to deliver a similar feat by March 2024.
RBI Goes Crypto with Digital Rupee
The Reserve Bank of India officially launched the e-rupee or digital rupee as the digital counterpart of the Indian rupee back in October this year. The e-rupee is a central bank digital currency (CBDC) managed by the RBI and has the same commercial value as a government currency, or in other words fiat currency. And since it’s backed by Rupee, it’s not as unstable as the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Dogecoin or Ethereum. There are two types of Digital Rupee – eRupee Retail, which can be used by all private, non-financial consumers and businesses and whose pilot project started in December; and eRupee Wholesale, which can only be used by financial institutions, and pilot testing of which began in November.
UPI goes global
The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) United Payments Interface (UPI) has gone from strength to strength since its inception. According to data from NPCI, as of October 2022, UPI recorded a whopping 7.3 billion transactions worth Rs.12.11 trillion in India. In addition to expanding its popularity in India, UPI has gone global with the service being available in a variety of countries around the world including Nepal, Bhutan, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United States, among others United Kingdom.
Semiconductor and iPhone manufacturing takes a big leap
India has been focused on increasing its semiconductor manufacturing capacity since the Indian government introduced various subsidy schemes in 2020 including PLI, SPECS and EMC 2.0 expanded their existing manufacturing capacity. This push has also prompted local manufacturers such as Vedanta Group to further improve and expand their capabilities.
Earlier this year, India’s Vedanta Group partnered with Taiwan’s Foxconn to set up a joint venture to manufacture semiconductors in India. It was later reported that the two companies had invested US$19.5 billion to set up a manufacturing facility in India to manufacture display and chip products within two years.
Alongside the joint venture, Foxconn also invested an additional $500 million in India to expand its iPhone manufacturing capabilities in India at a time when Apple plans to reduce its dependence on China and expand its manufacturing capabilities to markets around the world diversify including in India. In addition, Pegatron also established an iPhone manufacturing facility in India.
India’s tech laws are poised for an upgrade
India is also in the process of improving its tech laws. Earlier this year, the Indian government introduced the Data Protection Act to Parliament. It later withdrew him due to the number of proposals received. The bill was reintroduced last month taking into account all the proposals. The reintroduced bill allows companies to transfer users’ personal data to certain countries abroad. In addition, the new draft law also proposes financial penalties for companies in incidents related to data breaches.
In addition, a central inter-ministerial task force last month reached a consensus on the introduction of a unified charging connector in all electronic devices. During the meeting, a broad consensus emerged on the adoption of USB Type-C as a universal charging port for electronic devices. The move is similar to what the European Union rolled out earlier this year, and if adopted, will likely force companies like Apple to adopt a universal charging solution.