The Indian IT Industry has predominantly been a service Industry. However, a need has been felt to move up the value chain through technology oriented products and services.
To create a robust software product ecosystem the Government has approved the National Policy on Software Products - 2019, which aims to develop India as the global software product hub, driven by innovation, improved commercialisation, sustainable Intellectual Property (IP), promoting technology startups and specialized skill sets. Further, the Policy aims to align with other Government initiatives such as Start-up India, Make in India and Digital India, Skill India etc so as to create Indian Software products Industry of USD ~70-80 billion with direct & indirect employment of ~3.5 million by 2025.
To develop India as a Software Product Nation and a global leader in conception, design, development and production of intellectual capital driven Software Products, thus, accelerating growth of entire spectrum of IT Industry of the country.
- To promote the creation of a sustainable Indian software product industry, driven by intellectual property (IP), leading to a ten-fold increase in share of the Global Software product market by 2025.
- To nurture 10,000 technology startups in software product industry, including 1000 such technology startups in Tier-II and Tier-III towns & cities and generating direct and in-direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
- To create a talent pool for software product industry through
To build a cluster-based innovation driven ecosystem by developing 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development clusters having integrated ICT infrastructure, marketing, incubation, R&D/test beds and mentoring support. In order to evolve and monitor schemes & programmes for the implementation of this policy, National Software Products Mission will be set up with participation from Government, Academia and Industry. V
- up-skilling of 1,000,000 IT professionals,
- motivating 100,000 school and college students and
- specialise 10,000 professionals that can provide leadership.
- Promoting Software Products Business Ecosystem
Promoting Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Employment
- An Indian Software product registry will be created through industry ownership. This will act as a common pool of Indian Software Products thereby providing a trusted trade environment.
- A conducive environment will be created in order to facilitate active participation of software companies in Capital Market.
- A Single Window platform will be established for facilitation of Indian software product industry in fast-tracking legal and regulatory issues regarding (i) import and export and (ii) opening and closure of software product enterprises.
- A classification system for Indian software products will be evolved through a model HS code. The model HS code will be further sub categorized based on the type of software products, its inter-linkages with other economic sectors, including services and hardware manufacturing. Such model classification will facilitate tracking and easing of export of such products. This will also help in evolving statistical data for further promotion of specific sectoral software products.
- The Indian Software Product Companies will be allowed to set off tax payable, if any, on the investments made (on an accrued basis) in R&D of indigenous software products.
Skilling and Human Resource Development
- In order to create a conducive ecosystem, a programme of incubation will be initiated to nurture at least 10,000 software product startups, thereby generating direct and indirect employment for 1 million persons. 1000 of these startups shall be targeted to be set up in Tier-II and Tier-III town & cities. The programme will provide (i) Technical & Infrastructure assistance, (ii) Mentoring Support, (iii) Seed Fund, (iv) R&D & Testing facilities (v) Marketing and Branding support.
- A dedicated Software Product Development Fund (SPDF) with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Crore will be created in the form of Fund of Funds. SPDF will participate in venture fund to provide risk capital so as to promote scaling up of market ready Software Products. The fund will fill the gap between the capital requirements of technology and knowledge based software product startup enterprises and funding available from traditional institutional lenders such as banks. This scheme will create a corpus of Rs. 5000 Crore with an end target to have at latest 100 Indian software product companies having valuation of Rs. 500 Crore or employing 200 persons. The SPDF will be financially managed by a professional Financial Institution/ Asset Management Company as per SEBI guidelines. Spin off effect of such activity would create other support services and further employment.
- A Programme to support Research and Innovation on Software Products in Institutes of Higher Learning and Research will be initiated with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 500 Crore with participation from Government, Academia and Industry. The objective of the programme is to bridge the existing gaps in the Industry-Academia research and facilitate development of novel, high quality affordable software products through research and innovation. Financial support in form of a Grant-in-aid will be provided to Indian MSMEs and start-ups for undertaking such collaborative research with academic/ research institutes leading to IP development. To ensure that such research outcomes are absorbed in participating MSMEs businesses a matching fund from such applicants will be a pre-requisite for government grant. An expert organisation having established capabilities to professionally manage innovation and research leading to commercial translation will be identified to operationalise the fund.
- A programme for organising 20 dedicated challenge grants will also be initiated with an aim to solve societal challenges, such as in Education, Healthcare, Sanitation, Agriculture, persons with special needs (Divyangjan) etc in collaboration with line Ministries, state governments and Industry Bodies/ Think Tanks. The Research fund will also support such challenge grants/ hackathons for identifying software product solutions for societal challenges.
- A Programme to create 20 domain specific Indian software product clusters around existing industry concentrations, such as in automobile, textile, financial services, electronic manufacturing, energy etc will be initiated. These clusters will have integrated ICT infrastructure, marketing, incubation, R&D/test beds and mentoring facilities. Technical and financial support will be extended up to 500 technology companies so as to achieve global foot print.
- A Centre of Excellence will be set up to promote design and development of software products with industry participation.
- A common upgradable infrastructure will be created to support startups and software product designers to identify and plug cyber vulnerability.
Improving Access to Domestic Market and Cross Border Trade Promotion
- For catering to large scale requirement of trained manpower in futuristic technologies, a FutureSkills programme has been initiated for up-skilling/re-skilling of 3 million IT Professionals in emerging technologies. For creating a talent pool of 1 million IT professionals with competencies required for IP driven software products, a special emphasis on modules related to software products will be added into the programme. This will be implemented through (i) modification in existing course curriculum, (ii) short term training programme, (iii) national competency tests in consultation with the industry. The programme will be implemented in partnership with educational institutes, both public and private, identified industry bodies and the National Skill Development Mission.
- A national "Talent Accelerator" programme targeting, 100,000 school and college students, will be initiated for motivating young talent for software product development.
- A talent pool of 10,000 committed software product leaders will be created that can meet the distinct skill set requirement for the sector to move up the value chain for developing technology and intellectual capital for product industry and will be suitably interlinked with the mentor pool for software products incubators and clusters.
- The registry of Indian software products will be integrated with Government e-market (GeM) and will also provide necessary handholding for marketing support.
- Indian Product Startups / MSMEs will be encouraged to develop solutions for Smart Cities, healthcare, agriculture, e-learning, transport, fin-tech and addressing social challenges, such as, bridging digital divide, gender inequality, empowering the less privileged citizens and divyangjans. A series of hackathons will be organised to identify such startups / MSMEs, who will be suitably rewarded on successful development.
- Implementation of open APIs will be proactively promoted both for public and private sector to foster incremental innovation and to encourage inter-operability in Indian software products ecosystem.
- An enabling framework will be developed for preferential inclusion of Indian software product in Government procurement in line with the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017.
- Special focus to Indian Software Products will be provided in international trade development programmes by:
- Integrating Indian software products in India’s foreign aid programmes.
- Providing opportunities and access under the various market development assistance programmes to showcase innovative products and solutions in important events, exhibitions, trade fairs etc.
- Setting-up of specialized infrastructure in India and abroad for Software Product development so as to enhance presence of Indian Innovation in global markets.
- Industry will be encouraged and incentivised to develop products to overcome language barriers across major Indian Languages and to create technological bridges between them and major international languages including English.
The Government shall establish a "National Software Product Mission (NSPM)" to be housed in Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) under a Joint Secretary, with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.
The broad objectives of the mission will be as follows:-
- Design appropriate strategy for development of the software product industry to ensure optimum utilization of its potential and to establish India as a global Software Product Hub.
- Recommend specific policy measures to ensure an enabling ecosystem for design, development, innovation, value addition, (take other words from Vision), based on use of ICT.
- Recommend specific initiatives to be undertaken to tap the full potential of the domestic and the international markets for the Software product industry.
- Monitor and collate various initiatives taken under this policy with an aim to create 3.5 million employment opportunities and boost software products revenue tenfold by 2025.
- Facilitate various Government agencies and other bodies in promotion of Software Products, specific to the various programmes envisaged under this policy.
- Encourage States to participate in programmes and promote Indian Software Products in line with this policy.
- Monitor SPDF, Research & Innovation Fund.
- Take any other measures as may be required in the context.
The Policy will be implemented by MeitY through initiation of appropriate programmes & schemes, as per recommendation of NSPM, in which MeitY’s organizations, such as, Software Technology Parks of India(STPI) shall play a lead role besides Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), National Informatics Centre(NIC), Industry/ Industry bodies and Institutes of Higher Education & Research.
Initially, an outlay of Rs.1500 Crore is involved to implement the programmes/ schemes envisaged under this policy over the period of 7 years. Rs 1500 Crore is divided into Software Product Development Fund (SPDF) and Research & Innovation fund.
Source : Ministry of Electronics and IT