'22 Funds Selected And Approved Under Electronic Development Fund'
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics, Government of India, shares his thoughts about digital India and Electronic Development Fund's progress
The electronic development fund is the mother fund that will contribute to various funds under it for those who invest the money in companies for creation of intellectual property rights in the field of electronics and IT. The fund has achieved a total corpus of 10000 crore.
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics, Government of India, shares his thoughts about digital India and Electronic Development Fund's progress.
There was an electronic development fund which was set up 2 years back. How has been the corpus for that and the progress made so far? The EDF was set up about 2 years back and has a closing date of March 2017. So the approvals under the scheme have come to an end. The fund had a very good traction and 22 funds have been selected and given approval. From the EDF, the funding to these 22 funds is about 1000 crore and the total corpus is of 10000 crore. This is the first time that the government is entering the venture funding space and that too in the electronics area. This would be a big boost to the start-ups in the electronic space.
How would be the allocation? All the 22 funds would have different corpus. The EDF is funding them to the range of about 10-20%.
Taking the conversation to the digital side, could you share some information regarding the digital mission that the government adopted aggressively in the past few months? The government has launched a national digital payment mission with the intention of promoting and facilitating the digital payments. The finance minister in the budget speech had mentioned that they will set up this mission holistically with a target of reaching 2500 crore digital transaction by the end of this year. Currently we have reached 270-280 crore transaction in select modes i.e. debit cards, UPI, USSD, Aadhaar enabled payment systems and IMPS. Via these 5 modes, the idea is to move to 2500 crore digital transaction by the end of this year. This would be a jump by 8 times which is huge. Apart from this we have launched Bhim and Aadhaar Bhim, primarily aiming at the rural areas. What has been the download rate for Bhim and Adhaar Bhim? We have had a download rate of 1 crore, which is a good traction. The platform is still improving and stabilising. We are improving the ease of use. Earlier it was only on android and now it is available on IOS as well and better versions are coming out. So it is simply put-good work in progress and the ease of use factor is being focussed.
Is there any particular state or region that the government is focussing on, in terms of strategy for digital? It is not state A versus state B. it wouldn't also be correct to say that digital penetration or usage in urban areas is good enough. It is not and we want to improve it further. So we can look at it from geographical perspective in urban or rural areas, high low or middle income group or for that matter a state perspective. Across whichever strategy you take, we need to promote digital financial transaction in a big way across the country.