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Digital India will bridge the digital divide and empower society

The Prime Minister’s vision for India could be delineated by the words ‘IT’ which would be interpreted as IT (India’s Talent) + IT (Information Technology) = IT (India Tomorrow). The objective of digital India campaign is to transform India into a digitally empowered society by ensuring access to digital services, digital access, digital inclusion, digital empowerment and by bridging the digital divide. This was stated by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice, Communications & Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, during  the session on Future of Digital Economy at The Partnership Summit 2020 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He further emphasized that the unprecedented disruption caused by  COVID-19 has accelerated the trend towards digitization. India has  half a billion – and rapidly increasing – internet users, which has created a huge market for a host of digital services, platforms, applications, content, and solutions, he added.

While enumerating the achievements of the government, Mr Prasad specifically alluded to the Production Linked Incentives which had given a boost to electronics manufacturing as a result of which  the number of units has gone up significantly- from 2 mobile factories in 2014 to 260 mobile factories in 2020. He also highlighted successful initiatives of the government like eVisa, GSTN, ehospitals, eScholarships and UPI transactions, among others. “We want to scale up our digital economy to 1 trillion dollars,” he added.

“AI is going to drive the world and we must apply this in improving lives of people and it must not become a platform for weaponization,” he stated.

“Digital economy is the future and for livelihood & growth, digital infrastructure is the backbone,” said Mr Anshu Prakash, Chairman DCC & Secretary – Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India. According to Mr Prakash, digital connectivity has played a major role in keeping us connected during the pandemic. The government is a key stakeholder and an equal partner in enhancing the quality of life by leveraging digital technology, he said.
He mentioned that the government will ensure a conducive policy environment for enabling digital economy ecosystem to develop, penetrate & proliferate. The launch of National Broadband Mission in December this year would also help citizens to bridge the digital divide, he stated.

Mr Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, Special Secretary for Debureaucratization, Management and Digital Governance, Minister of Economy, Brazil mentioned that Brazil is the second most user of social media in the world. The one and only relationship platform of Brazil namely connects the citizens to the government on a one-on-one basis. He also said that Brazil will soon launch a digital identity.

Mr Amit Sinha, Managing Director & Global Head of Telecom, Media & Technology & India DBS Bank, Singapore, mentioned that DBS was the first Digi Bank launched in the country, which was a pilot. He said, “QR code has become a means of life in the pandemic.”

Mr Krzysztof Blusz, Global Expansion Director, Synerise, Poland, noted that India has a massive advantage, being one of the biggest ecommerce economies, while the thought in Europe is that platform and data monetization are important for value creation in the digital economy.

Mr Dilip Sawhney, Co-Chairman, CII Smart Manufacturing Council and Managing Director, Rockwell Automation, India stated that the manufacturing sector has a role in building the economy and Industry 4.0 can help in taking manufacturing forward. He also mentioned that cyber security helps to  build confidence among users  in the digital space.

Mr T V Narendran, President -Designate, CII, Global CEO & Managing Director, Tata Steel, stressed that digital transformation is no longer an “option” for nations and organizations but a “compulsion.”  It should hence be made more inclusive and democratized.
CT Bureau

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