The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) e-Governance division has unveiled a draft for the Data Centre Policy 2020.  According to the draft, the government will work towards providing infrastructure status for the data centre sector at par with other sectors.

The draft highlights the need for data centre infrastructure within the boundaries of the country. With this policy, the government is looking to boost investment in the sector and encourage domestic manufacturing of data centre equipment manufacturing in a draft. The policy also aims to simplify clearances for setting up data centres in the country.

With this, data centres will also be declared as an essential service under The Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968 (ESMA) which means that there would be a continuity of services even during times of calamities or crisis.

Meanwhile, the policy proposed setting up of at least four data centre economic zones (DCEZ) nationwide, as part of a DCEZ scheme. The scheme will be implemented by inviting proposals from the states.  Further, the draft laid out a policy framework including various structural and regulatory interventions and identifies possible areas of participation by MSMEs, startups and other Indian IT companies.

The draft highlighted, that the need for data centre infrastructure in the country already opens up a potential opportunity for investments of the order of $4.9 billion by 2025, which could be further increased given we progress in the direction of becoming a data centre location of choice for global players.