Prime Minister launches Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19, 2018, launched the Ease of Doing Business grand challenge on resolving seven identified ease of doing business problems with the use of cutting-edge technologies.

Ease of Doing Business Ranking

The Doing Business Ranking is an annual assessment conducted by the World Bank that measures aspects of regulation affecting 10 areas of the life of a business, evaluating 190 countries on 10 specific indicators.

The scores are based on the measures implemented by the Government departments, however, they also reflect the experience of industrial users that are counted in the rankings.

The 10 indicators include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority interests, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

From a user’s perspective, ease of doing business signifies the ease of getting permission, license, registration or a service from a government agency. There are established processes within each government agency for issuing of such permissions or services.

Hence, the grand challenge seeks to invite innovative ideas from individuals, startups or other enterprises to implement artificial intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies for re-engineering related Government processes to eliminate physical interface, improve service delivery, enhance transparency and reduce cost and time.

Key Highlights

The EODB grand challenge is open to all young Indians, start-ups and private enterprises. The main purpose is to provide solutions to complex problems using current technology.

The platform for the grand challenge will be the Start-up India portal.

The date for closing of applications is January 1, 2019, and the final results will be declared on February 1, 2019.

The top 3 teams for each problem statement would be awarded cash prizes worth Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, and Rs 3 lakh respectively.

The government would be working with all the winners for solution development and implementation.

Other Details

The Prime Minister at a programme organized at his residence on November 19 interacted with select CEOs from Indian & foreign companies.

The Prime Minister apprised CEOs of the efforts being made by the Union Government to ensure that India consistently improves its business environment.

The Prime Minister further reiterated his resolve to make India one of the easiest places to conduct business in the world.

He then congratulated all the government officials from the reforming Ministries and Departments as well as states and municipal corporations for their achievements in the last 4 years and exhorted them to work towards reforms with greater zeal and energy.

Hartwig Schafer, Vice President, South Asia of the World Bank Group, also addressed the gathering and appreciated the enormity of India’s achievement.

He also stressed that it gets tougher to improve ranks as a country moves higher up in the ranking and expressed his belief that India will continue to maintain the momentum it has gained over the last four years in its efforts in improving Ease of Doing Business.

Background

In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR, 2019) released on October 31, 2018, India recorded a jump of 23 positions from 100 in 2017 to 77 in 2018, among a total of 190 countries.

India also recorded the highest improvement in two years by any large country since 2011 in the Doing business assessment by improving its rank by 53 positions.

India improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices (Distance to Frontier score) on 7 out of the 10 indicators.

In the grant of construction permits, India’s rank improved from 181 in 2017 to 52 in 2018, an improvement of 129 ranks in a single year.

In Trading across Borders, India’s rank improved by 66 positions moving from 146 in 2017 to 80 in 2018.

The World Bank has recognized India as one of the top improvers for the year. This is the second consecutive year for which India has been recognized as one of the top improvers.

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