Technology Use: Economic Survey: Governments use technology to benefit society and use resources efficiently

The use of digital technology was a top theme in the Economic Survey, with the word technology appearing nearly 100 times in the more than 414-page document and highlighting how the government is using technology to reform and advance its “minimum” agenda . Government, maximum governance”.

Apart from highlighting the impact of digital public infrastructure, the economic survey also listed use cases for efficient use of technology in areas such as taxation, delivery of digital services to villages and rural areas, digitization of various central and state government projects, agriculture and mining, among others.

“The economy has begun to benefit from efficiency gains from greater formalization, greater financial inclusion, and economic opportunities created by economic reforms based on digital technologies,” the survey noted. It added that the use of technology, especially digital , consolidated the reforms.

The survey noted that technology has been a major driver of streamlining tax reform, improving compliance and improving fraud detection systems, which in turn has led to higher revenue growth.

If digitally integrated systems were able to carry out multiple consistency checks, there would be fewer incidents of tax evasion, leading to better income reporting and thus higher tax revenues, the survey said.

The use of technology also enables governments to effectively implement social sector programs and ensure benefits reach intended beneficiaries in a timely manner, even during a pandemic, the survey said.

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These shifts have been made possible through technology-enabled government programs such as the Ideal District scheme for widespread use of Aadhaar, direct benefit transfer and various other education and health initiatives, it said. For example, children’s education can continue uninterrupted during the government-backed pandemic supporting technology-enabled initiatives such as smart classrooms, information and communication labs in schools, supporting hardware, educational software and e-learning content, the survey notes.

Likewise, the survey notes that the introduction of web-based checks to ensure transparency and accountability in enforcement has started a new wave of labor reforms.

“The introduction of digitalization and technology into the rural economy, both in terms of agricultural activities and governance, is also a key aspect of the rural development agenda,” the survey report said. It added that the main focus was also on the health parameters of the rural population.

It also outlines the technology’s use in areas such as increasing solar adoption, driving the clean energy transition and increasing mining output.

“History shows that when different aspects of human development such as education, skills, employment, health and rural development dovetail with technology, there is a full range of revolutionary innovations that lead to technology-led growth and prosperity,” it said .

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