Analysis Of Sansad TV Discussion: ”2 Years of COVID-19 – Giant Digital Leap”
GS 3: Government Policies & Interventions, Transparency & Accountability, Growth & Development
- Two years ago, in March 2020, the government imposed a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases.
- This period brought about various lifestyle changes including some that may end up being permanent.
- The proactive implementation of digital platforms such as Aarogya Setu and e-Office not only tracked, traced and took care of coronavirus patients but also helped in business continuity during the period of restrictions put in place to fight the Covid Pandemic.
- This pandemic has changed the world in terms of social relations, economic activities, healthcare, education and many other aspects.
What is Digitization?
- Digitization refers to the technical process of converting analog or traditional paper-based tasks or processes to digital form so that computers can help in accessing, storing, and transmitting the information.
- By contrast, digitalization refers to “the sociotechnical process of leveraging digitized products or systems to develop new organizational procedures, business models, or commercial offerings”.
Opportunities and challenges of digitalization
- Typified by devastating impacts on livelihoods and business performance, the COVID-19 pandemic also highlights the vast digital divide between the poor and rich, between rural and urban areas, and between advanced and developing economies.
whether traditional firms will be able to recover lost ground through infusing greater digitalization into their business models, or whether this will simply extend the role of the existing internet-enabled platform oligopolies.
- The pandemic has catapulted the need for change across a host of industries, in addition to fundamentally changing consumer behaviour, from store visits to buying online; the latter enables much more information to be gathered on consumers, further undermining the position of vendors lacking such detailed insider information and analytics capabilities.
- Whilst potentially enhancing flexibility for employers and employees, and reducing wasted time and energy on long commutes, the digitalization of work has raised concerns about trust, new forms of worker electronic surveillance, and the colonization of leisure time.
COVID-19- as Driver of digitalization
- Forced many organizations to shift to remote working and becoming increasingly a “paperless organization”.
- Accelerated shift from paper-based to electronic-based processes, procedures and routines.
- Domestic and internal travel and social distancing restrictions forced firms to operate online rather than face-to-face.
- Nevertheless, quarantine restrictions and effects have been mitigated or at least partially overcome by video conferencing and online meeting platforms.
Digital Economy is the new driver
- Digitalization is seen as essential. Driving further development of infrastructure and conditions for digitalization and electronic transactions.
- The country’s digital economy was worth about $85-90 billion in 2020 but now rising internet penetration, growing income and the high number of young people will likely drive up the size of India’s digital economy to as much as $800 billion by 2030.
- Government is also continuously encouraging digitalization to ensure that the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country in a consumer-friendly manner.