Pitching India as the world’s destination for the next big idea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked, “If Indians can work in Google. Why can’t Google be made in India?”
Talking about his dream of digitally connecting India, PM Modi launched his ambitious Digital India project. The project aims to create a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
Modi spoke extensively of his vision for Digital India, “I dream of a Digital India where high-speed digital highways unite the nation….I dream of a Digital India where 1.2 billion connected Indians drive innovation…I dream of a Digital India where government is open and governance is transparent…I dream of a Digital India where technology ensures government is incorruptible…I dream of a Digital India where rural economy has access to e-healthcare…I dream of a Digital India where world looks to India for the next big idea,” he said.
“Just like Make in India is important, design in India is also important. The world recognises India’s IT talent,” he said.
Stating that the Digital India scheme is meant to benefit the poor, Modi said, “It is government’s duty to make rural India benefit from digital drive. People used to debate why does a poor nation like India need to send satellites? But, now that satellites forecast weather, it benefits the poor farmer.”
“I am confident that all the citizens of this country will be able to fulfil their dreams through Digital India. We aim to change India’s future. Demographic dividend needs digital strength,” Modi said. “Digital connectivity is important. Digital divide can create big problems between the rich and the poor. The poor person will never be able to benefit from the opportunities that we are creating if he is not digitally connected,” he added, while emphasising on the importance of the initiative.
“We need to embrace the change that digital connectivity can bring. Now towns will come alongside places where the optical fibre network is present….Banking will soon go paperless….We can reduce the burden of students with Digital India…I can envision a world where people will store products in digital godowns,” Modi said, elaborating the various opportunities that digital connectivity offers.
Stressing on the role that Digital India can play in governance, Modi went on to say, “Minimum government and maximum governance can be a success through Digital India. E-governance is easy governance and economic governance. We have to empower citizens.” “E-governance will soon become m-governance, that is mobile governance,” he added.
Talking about electronics manufacturing, PM Modi pitched, “India needs to import certain things; but it is not acceptable that electronics are the second highest import items in India. We want to invite the world to Make in India, make India as the base for manufacturing electronic goods.”
Citing the example of coal auctions, Modi said, “I dream of a Digital India where technology ensures government is incorruptible. Coal auctions happened via e-auctions; that ensured transparency.
Modi also spoke of the role of Digital India in a world where cyber security is becoming increasingly important. “Everyone is worried about cyber security and cyber warfare. India should work towards giving the world a shield from the threat of cyber warfare,” he said. “I dream of a Digital India where cyber security becomes an integral part of national security,” he added.