"I dream of digital India where 1.2 billion connected Indians drive innovation:”NaMo


MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Digital India’ took a step forward on 1 July as the PM launched ‘Digital India Week’ in New Delhi. Modi, who foresees an impending “bloodless” cyber war as a global risk has called upon the nation's IT community to become world leaders in providing credible cyber-security systems to the entire world. “Can’t India innovate in providing cyber security to the world and be a world leader in it?” he questioned.

The Prime Minister encouraged the leaders in IT manufacturing to boost production of electronic services and goods in the country as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “We need to manufacture qualitatively globally competitive electronic goods in India and reduce our enormous dependency on imports,” he added.

Modi noted that there is a risk of digitization creating a barrier between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s and result in a digital divide. To avoid that, he outlined his vision of e-governance and mobile governance, where all important government services will be available on the mobile phone and digital platforms.

"I dream of a digital India where high-speed digital highways unite the nation; 1.2 billion connected Indians drive innovation; technology ensures the citizen-government interface is incorruptible, where government proactively engages on social media platforms, quality education reaches inaccessible places of country, quality healthcare comes to remotest places through e health care," he said.

He stressed on making India as paperless as possible, especially in terms of government documentations, banking and other bureaucratic services. A key aspect of this is ‘Digital India’s’ eLocker initiative which enables citizens to store their important documents in an online database and access it using a digital signature that will be unique to every citizen and used with their AADHAAR number. “With eLocker, one doesn’t need to carry all their paperwork to government offices when they are applying for any government or other services. It makes official work easier, economic and secure,” said Modi, who is rightly addressed as a ‘digital native man’ by industry leaders.

Apart from this, ‘Digital India’ aspires to spread its reach to the remotest parts of the country and enable citizens from all walks of society to enjoy its services like eHealth, eEducation, eScholarship, eSignature, ‘Digital India’ apps and weather reports for farmers among others.

To achieve that, the mammoth-size challenge lies in infrastructure and availability of high speed broadband throughout the country. “There was a time when highways were in demand and were crucial to settlements and industries. Today a developed city can only be built where fiber optics pass through,” he opined, enlisting Broadband Highway as a top priority in his ‘Digital India’ plan.

The Prime Minister cleverly tweaked his definition of IT and devised the formula ‘IT +IT =IT’ which breaks down to Indian Talent plus Information Technology which will give ‘India Tomorrow.’ He assured full support to young entrepreneurs who wished to launch start-ups and called upon the youth to innovate.

“In a few years we will be second globally in startups after America, and the government is willing to invest in entrepreneurs. We need to make products and technology based on the target age group, its utility in our Indian society and thus ‘Design in India’ is as important as ‘Make in India’,” he concluded.

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