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In South Asia, India is forecast to be the largest consumer of Internet of Things (IoT) devices globally by 2020 – this according to Indian software trade association Nasscomm.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Ministry of Communications and IT (DeitY)) and the Ministry of Urban Development are working together to grow the Internet of Things (IoT) industry in India.

According to Business Insider, there have been several companies leading the market by building the necessary capacity and capability to meet the growing demand for intelligent devices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a series of urban renewal initiatives, including his smart city vision under which the government will seek to create 100 smart cities with high-tech communication capabilities across the country. This has been attributed to the surge in demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and solutions.

KS Vishwanathan, vice president for Industry Initiatives, at Nasscomm said: “When the government’s 100 Smart City project, Digital India plan and Smart Energy project get executed, the kind of expected IoT devices that will be in India for deployment would be in excess of multiple millions in three to five years.”

Nasscomm is working closely with the DeitY to establish India’s first centre of excellence to deliver the largest benefit from IoT solutions created in India, for serving both in-country needs and global IoT needs.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner commented, “IoT devices will reach more than 30-35 billion in 2020. There is going to be huge growth worldwide and India will have a fair share in it.”

Current projects and challenges

Gartner’s vice president added that Internet of Things (IoT) has been applied to critical infrastructure including railways, where communication is used to alert authorities how much diesel is being consumed.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is also making its entry into the healthcare sector, with applications such as the remote monitoring of an individual’s health.

The two main challenges posed to successful IoT implementation, is the lack of policy to ensure network safety and security associated with billions of connected devices, as well as need to create the robust hardware to support software applications in Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Vishwanathan concluded by saying, “Individually, we are great in each [software and hardware] but our ability to integrate both of them is lacking. What we are now doing is we are importing all the components that are required for the lower end of the device space. That is the entire focus right now.”