Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that with one of the most tech-friendly populations, India was best placed to leverage the power of technology and leapfrog into the future.
He said the country is the hot-spot of digital innovation across all sectors. It not only has a growing number of innovative entrepreneurs but also a growing market for tech innovations.
Modi was inaugurating the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018 by addressing the delegates through video conference from New Delhi.
“With over one lakh villages linked with optical fibre, 121 crore mobile phones, 120 crore Aadhaar and 50 crore internet users, India is best placed to leverage the power of technology and leap-frog into the future while ensuring empowerment of every citizen.”
He said Digital India was a journey bringing about digital inclusion for digital empowerment aided by digital infrastructure for digital delivery of services.
“Leveraging technology in such a holistic manner was unthinkable some years ago. We have successfully completed this life-cycle in the last three and a half years. This has been possible through a change in public behaviour and processes,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi claimed that Digital India has not remained merely a government initiative but has become a way of life.
He also claimed that the JAM trinity of combining 320 million Jan Dhan bank accounts of the poor with Aadhaar and Mobile, with direct benefits of welfare measures, has saved Rs 57,000 crore.
Modi noted the unique Umang app launched only three months back is already offering 185 government services.
He said the nation has come a long way with the convergence of Make In India and Digital India.
“From only two mobile factories in India in 2014, today there are 118 mobile manufacturing factories operational in India, including some of the best global brands.”
He said to ensure that digital literacy reaches each household, the government initiative, Pradhan Mantri Rural Digital Literacy Mission, will make 60 million adults digitally literate in rural India. Under this, 10 million people have already been trained.
Pointing out that digital payments through the BHIM app registered transactions of Rs 15,000 crore last month, Modi said: “We stand today at the cusp of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Technology, if used well for public good, can deliver lasting prosperity to mankind and a sustainable future for our planet.”
“Disruptive technologies such as Blockchain and the Internet of Things will have a profound impact on the way we live and work. They will require rapid adaptation in our workplaces.”
He said the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family) was deeply imbibed in Indian philosophy and reflects our inclusive traditions.
“In the 21st century, technology is becoming an enabler for this concept. It helps us create a seamless, integrated world. A world where geographical distance no longer remains a barrier in collaborating for a better future,” Modi added.
The three-day WCIT is being held along with the Nasscom India Leadership Forum.
Business delegations from 25 countries are attending the event themed ‘Amplify digital-Disrupt the core’.
Being held in India for the first time, it has been organised in partnership with Nasscom, WITSA and the Telangana government.