On Friday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a Consultation Paper aimed at encouraging Research and Development (R&D) in the country's Telecom, Broadcasting, and IT (ICT) sectors. TRAI said the objective of this consultation paper is to create a robust ecosystem for innovation, supporting the development of ICT products and services and making India self-reliant while promoting exports in the sector.
R&D for ICT Growth
TRAI said R&D has long played a crucial role in technological progress, economic growth, and improving lives. India has made substantial advancements in this area, ranking 40th in the Global Innovation Index 2022. Government initiatives such as "Make in India" and "Digital India" have significantly contributed to strengthening the R&D landscape. Furthermore, R&D and innovation is also important for a nation’s self-reliance and its security.
Addressing Gaps in the ICT Sector
However, the consultation paper acknowledges room for improvement in the existing R&D ecosystem in India, particularly in the ICT sector. TRAI said it has analyzed the important issues which require intervention in the existing R&D ecosystem in India under the three focus elements: Education and training System, Science System, and Regulatory Framework, which includes Policies and Programs and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Framework.
Embracing Emerging Technological Trends
TRAI said emerging trends such as 5G, 6G, Open-RAN, Internet of Things (IoT), AI and ML, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Metaverse, Quantum Computing, Cloud Services, Edge computing, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Over-The-Top (OTT) services and Hybrid Set Top Box (STB) etc are transforming Telecom, Broadcasting and IT sectors rapidly. To harness these trends, the paper stresses the importance of collaboration among government, industry, and academia and emphasizes the commercialization of research.
Learning from Global R&D
The paper also draws lessons from leading countries in R&D and innovation, including Israel, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Finland etc. TRAI said by studying international best practices, India aims to strengthen its R&D ecosystem as it works towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy.
TRAI released the consultation paper on September 22nd, with the expectation that the resulting recommendations and policies will further accelerate R&D in the nation.