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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. India's data storage center industry had leap-frogged at least a decade in the past couple of years. Discuss (150 words).

    09 Nov, 2022 GS Paper 3 Science & Technology

    Approach

    • Start your answer by briefly introducing the concept of data center. 
    • Discuss the present status and prospects of data center industry in India. 
    • Discuss the reasons for accelerated growth of India’s Data storage center industry.  
    • Conclude accordingly. 

    Introduction

    • Data center is a dedicated secure space within a building/centralized location where computing and networking equipment is concentrated for the purpose of collecting, storing, processing, distributing or allowing access to large amounts of data. 
    • In recent times, India has witnessed an exponential growth in digital-commerce, digital entertainment and use of social media with India’s mobile data consumption is the highest in the world and is constantly increasing. 
    • The current size of the India data center industry is around USD 5.6 billion and the size of the digital economy in India is estimated to grow from USD 200 billion in 2017-18 to USD 1 trillion by 2025. 

    Body

    • Reasons for accelerated growth of India’s Data storage center industry. 
      • Impact of Covid-19:  
        • The unprecedented Covid-19 crisis propelled the data center business providing an unexpected tailwind. 
        • Technology adoption and digitization across the sectors were fast-tracked globally and India also leap-frogged at least a decade in the past couple of years. 
        • The lockdown and subsequent restrictions became a massive catalyst for digitization across the sectors like banking, education, and shopping etc. 
          • This led to increased use of data consumption and internet bandwidth across the country. 
      • Government Push: 
        • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up state-of-the-art National Data Centers (NDCs) at NIC Headquarters in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar and 37 small Data Centers at various State Capitals. 
          • The first Data Centre was launched in Hyderabad in 2008. 
        • These NDCs form the core of e-Governance Infrastructure in India by providing services to various e-Governance initiatives undertaken by the Government of India. 
        • The foundation stone of the first NDC for Northeastern Region (NEDC) was laid in Guwahati, Assam in February 2021. 
        • Currently, there are about 138 data centers (DCs) across India with at least 57% of the current IT capacity being in Mumbai & Chennai. 
        • The primary colocation data center area in India is Mumbai with its location facing the west coast making it well connected to the Middle East and Europe due to multiple submarine cables landing there. 
        • Further, the government had released the Draft Data Center Policy, which aims to simplify clearances for setting up data centers in the country. 

    Conclusion

    The data center expansion is the right step taken by the government as it will support the growth in data volumes and further support the high growth in e-commerce, increase in usage of social media, greater preference for over the top (OTT) platforms, the government’s impetus to the Digital India initiative and rapid digitalisation of services across industries (Industry 4.0 and 5G). 

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