Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation Paper on "Digital Inclusion in the Era of Emerging Technologies" on 14 September 2023. The consultation paper has aimed to explore and address the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid advancement of emerging technologies, with a focus on ensuring inclusivity for all segments of society and industries particularly Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
In the consultation paper, TRAI has emphasised the need for a robust policy framework and collaborative efforts among stakeholders to ensure participation of individuals in digital economic activities. The authority has also analysed various gaps in digital inclusion present in the country such as the mobile internet usage gap, rural urban internet penetration disparities, gender gaps in internet access, etc. as well as gaps identified from some global indices. Proactively prioritising inclusion can create an ecosystem that benefits every individual, fostering a more equitable and accessible digital economy.
TRAI has also identified various challenges being faced by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country from the adoption of new and emerging digital technology solutions. As the MSME sector contributes significantly towards the nation's economy, it is imperative that the MSMEs are empowered to contribute more towards the digital economy through new emerging technology solutions, especially the micro-enterprises as the majority of the MSMEs are micro-enterprises.
The consultation paper, for seeking inputs from the stakeholders, has been placed on TRAI's website (www.trai.gov.in). Written comments on the issues for consultation are invited from the stakeholders by 16 October 2023 and counter comments by 31 October 2023.