What do you understand by Digital Intelligence? Why it is considered to be an important economic resource? Discuss its relevance in policy making.

Published: July 22, 2017

Digital intelligence is seen as the ability to transform raw data into actionable and structured information which can be used for benefits of society. In this era when the world stands highly connected free flow of data is wrongly interpreted as a free flow of information. Data present on social media, other personal/social communication networks is quite different from the data which is present in banking, defence, public service, health and education service sphere is a precious and cannot be seen to flow freely across borders. Each of these realms is present in the digital avatar and has their own dynamics and implications. Points to note:

  • The nations need to negotiate the flow of information across these digital services during trade talks and not simply data which can have widespread repercussions. These services are still present in nascent stages in India and the policymakers have to develop a better understanding of the same before making trade bargains on an international stage.
  • Data, when turned into intelligence, becomes a highly strong and single most important economic resource of the nation. In addition, it tends to focus on few centres which define its entire arithmetic. It is this underlying idea which makes any sector get focussed around a few poles of digital intelligence and can be used in many ways.
  • There is a dire need for India to define a digital industrialisation strategy which will retain the huge value from digitally-induced efficiencies in all sectors in India and not flow out unchecked. There has to be an independent digital policy in place which is able to harness its digital strengths.

India thus needs a sound policy at home to develop a robust domestic digital industry. It should not fall prey to predatory global digital trade paradigms and sacrifice its policy-making power and sovereignty by ratifying free data flow.

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