India Update: Exclusive Interview With NASSCOM on Its Plans to Develop IoT in India

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IoT in India is fast evolving and there are many players who are driving this growth and evolution. One of the key catalysts in this ecosystem is Government of India in collaboration with NASSCOM. NASSCOM has an initiative called Center of Excellence (COE) for IoT which is focused on nurturing this ecosystem.

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Mr. KS Viswanathan, the Vice President (Industry Practices) from COE for IoT has shared his insights and views on IoT in India, COE’s plans, vision, mission, goals etc. Please read the rest of the interview below.

What is NASSCOM’s COE for IoT and how did it come into existence. Can you give us a brief introduction

KSV: NASSCOM’s CoE-IoT is a joint initiative between Government of India under DeitY, ERNET – a nodal agency of DeitY, Government of Karnataka and NASSCOM. The idea was to create and develop an IoT ecosystem that could help entrepreneurs ideate, do a proof of concept, develop a prototype and realize a solution/product for in country and global needs in the process give fillip to domestic and indigenization of component manufacturing there by reducing import dependency on electronic components.

What is the Vision, mission and goals of COE

KSV: VISION – Enable IoT ecosystem including Start-ups/entrepreneurs/SMEs in the emerging area of Internet of Things, while maximizing indigenous solutions, leveraging India’s strength in IT and through collaborative efforts of Industry- Government- Academia

MISSION –

  • Drive innovation by creating an ecosystem that provides access to tools and knowledge
  • Develop proficiency and adopt globally established and interoperable IoT standards on IOT protocols
  • To build capacity and capability for IoT specific skill-sets for domestic and international markets
  • Align to Government of India’s vision for Digital India, Make in India, Smart Cities, Cyber Security, Smart Manufacturing , Big data &  IoT solutions in specific areas like health, water, agriculture, education and energy

GOALS –

  • Discover and nurture entrepreneurs to build a robust base to support the expansion of IoT ecosystem across the country in collaboration in community players
  • Act as aggregator in creating a repository of enabling/support ecosystem to act as catalyst in reducing product development lifecycle
  • Build Physical Lab infrastructure for entrepreneurs to work on multi technology infrastructure to drive innovation
  • To build research acumen and contribute to evolving global standards for IoT

What segments and industries is NASSCOM COE prioritizing? Are there any specific industries or technologies that you are focusing on?

KSV: The CoE-IoT is a joint initiative on a PPP model with DeitY, ERNET, Government of Karnataka and NASSCOM. The segments and Industries which this initiative should focus is currently being deliberated. It is envisaged that there will be a balance between societal and commercial segments that CoE will look to focus on.

What is your take on the current state of IoT in India?

KSV: Over the past 6 to 8 months, NASSCOM has reached out to Industry, Entrepreneurs, Academia and to various government departments. The idea was to understand view of these stakeholders and see what NASSCOM as part of the CoE-IoT initiative need to focus on to help the stakeholders in realizing the product. There are multiple established players in the country doing their bit to build the IoT community. There exists numerous companies whose area of focus is IoT. What is understand is that the big organizations consider themselves as start-up when it comes to IoT. The small to medium size companies are spread across the country with limited access to infrastructure and intellectual capital. The government both at central and state level are trying to address this through interventions in terms of setting up incubation centers.

Where and how do you see the Indian IoT ecosystem reaching in 5 years from now?

KSV: With the right impetus and focus from both the Government and Industry, IoT ecosystem is poised to grow and create capacity and capability in the area of IoT thereby providing the right skills to develop innovative products from India for both in country and global needs.

Is Government of India looking at actively laying out policies, standards and regulations for IoT?

KSV: GoI has come out with a draft IoT policy and is setting up a committee under BIS to look at standards. Various other agencies are looking at formulating regulations that will be applicable on IoT devices.

Is NASSCOM collaborating with the global IoT Catalysts to represent India at global level?

KSV: NASSCOM has plans of collaborating with global agencies as and when the time is ripe.

Are there any plans to become part of the global standards bodies for steering IoT standards and developments in future?

KSV: NASSCOM’s Industry partners are on board of global standard bodies that are working on formulating IoT standards and will continue to provide their valuable insights on the standards evolving to the CoE

Can you please share the progress of the COE in the Indian IoT ecosystem till now. 

KSV: The current plan to have the CoE operational by March 2016. All activities leading to making the CoE operational is being worked on in terms of finalizing the tools, equipment to be made available, infrastructure that promotes innovation along with on boarding the requisite manpower to manage the CoE.

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