“At the outset, I would like to convey Deepawali greetings to you and your families. Further, I take this opportunity to share my thoughts with all of you though it has been a while since I joined as Member (Services), DoT.
In 2019, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has envisioned to make INDIA a USD$ 5 trillion economy and global powerhouse by 2024-25, out of which, approximately USD$ 1 trillion of economic value is expected to be created from digital economy as per the McKinsey report. Though the unfortunate Covid pandemic has slowed the march of the economy a bit but India is poised to catapult itself to the next inflexion point of the economic growth and empowerment of its citizen. It gives me immense pleasure and I feel proud to be part of the Department of Telecom (DOT) that is at the forefront of laying the robust foundation of digital infrastructure to create the knowledge economy that will take India to the pinnacle of the glorious future.
More than 1.1 billion mobile subscribers, around 1.2 billion digital identities, approximately 650 million internet users and around half a billion social media users are nothing but the testimony to the critical role being played by Department of Telecom in realizing the objectives of Digital Communication Policy, 2018. By creating the competitive landscape in the telecom sector, India has distinction of having second highest average data consumption of 14.6 Gb per smartphone/month as per the Ericsson mobility report, 2021; at one of the lowest data rates of approximately USD 0.09/GB. The studies have established the causal relationship that 10% increase in mobile penetration leads to 1.2% increase in GDP through direct contribution and multiplier effect. The ubiquitous digital adoption is equally impacting the individuals, government and businesses of every strata. Hence, I suppose we are on the right path to realize the true potential of the Information & Communication technologies (ICT) as envisaged in the goals of the DCP, 2018 namely universal broadband coverage, creating additional four million job and increasing share of telecom sector in GDP to 8%, enhancing contribution of India in Global Value Chain and ensuring Digital sovereignty.
In this ongoing journey, our task is to create enabling environment for rolling out 5G services to take nation forward in the digital revolution. We have to ensure horizontal proliferation of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, lOT, Big data, Cloud computing, block-chain, social media, applications and digital platforms-based ecosystem in cross sector verticals among others for the sustained growth. Further, data is new gold, hence, we need to preserve data integrity, ensure network security and secure the cyberspace. The benefits of ‘Digital India’ can percolate to the bottom of pyramid through successful implementation of ‘Bharat Net’ project by taking fibre connectivity to all 6.5 lakh villages so that job creation can take place at local community level. Last but not the least, we have to create local manufacturing in telecom, networking and allied ICT sector by being part of Global Value Chain as part of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
In view of the above challenges and opportunities, I urge all of you to play the role of facilitator and enabler so as to spur the growth in telecom and related ICT sector. I shall always be available to carry forward your initiatives and proposals.”
Happy & Safe Deepawali to each one of you.
(Deepak Chaturvedi) DG(T) & Member (Services), DoT