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WEF, Reliance join hands for digital excellence centre

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Mumbai: In what could give a major fillip to PM Modi’s Digital India dream, which also envisages making available broadband and related services to over 60,000 village administrations, the World Economic Forum has announced a new digital technology centre in Mumbai that would be executed by the Indian government and Reliance Industries Ltd (Reliance) jointly.

Dubbed the Center for Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), it "will operate as the sister centre to the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, allowing policymakers and thought leaders in India to stay ahead of the curve through unique insights in new forms of governance and new technology applications, and connections with cutting-edge technology innovators globally," Reliance said in a statement.

The WEF identified India as a partner since it is a key economic, political and social shaper of the 21st century's global, regional and industry systems.

The WEF initiative is also a recognition of Modi’s Digital India vision and Startup India programme to encourage young entrepreneurs. It is the first centre opened outside of Silicon Valley in the US.

“The capability for India to maximise the potential and minimise the risks of the Fourth Industrial revolution, both domestically for its economy and society, and globally as a major economic and social innovator -- and cultural influencer-- will be one of the foremost drivers for prosperity and peace over the coming decades," the WEF said.

The new economy will greatly benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a digital age and is expected to create significant value to countries that embrace them quickly by accelerating their GDP and job growth. These opportunities include artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet of things (IoT) and blockchain, among many others, according to the WEF.

The WEF, which has been championing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, established C4IR in the Silicon Valley at San Francisco as Silicon Valley was already home to several of these exciting developments.

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