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Digital India now a way of life, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the virtual inauguration of Bengaluru Technological Summit 2020, on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Digital India mission, launched five years ago, was not being seen as any regular government initiative and had now become a way of life, especially for the poor and marginalised and those in the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday. He asserted that ‘technology first’ was their governance model.

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“India is uniquely positioned to leap ahead in the information era. We have the best minds as well as the biggest market. Our local tech solutions have the potential to go global... It is time for tech solutions that are designed in India but deployed for the world,” he said in a virtual address to Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020.

Addressing the summit, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said India and Australia have unlimited possibilities of working together in space research, critical minerals, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing and much more.

Mr. Modi claimed that at the peak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown, it was technology that ensured that the poor received proper and quick assistance. “It is technology that gave confidence that we could vaccinate our large population in a short period of time. Technology has also played a vital role in the success of world’s largest healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat”, he said.

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Talking of the government’s Swamitva scheme, he observed that it was an ambitious scheme to give land titles to millions of people in rural areas and would be achieved through technology like drones. “This will not only bring to an end many disputes but will also empower people. Once property rights are given, technology solutions can ensure prosperity.” 

Cybersecurity solutions 

With rapid increase of tech use, data protection as well as cybersecurity became very important, the Prime Minister pointed out. He called on the youth to play a big role in devising robust cybersecurity solutions which, he noted, could effectively “vaccinate digital products against cyber attacks and viruses.”

He said, “We are in the middle of information era and change was ‘disruptive and big’. Achievements of the industrial era are in the rear view mirror, and now, we are in the middle of information era. Future is coming sooner than anticipated.” The government had taken measures to ease the compliance burden on the IT industry.

Also read: Cabinet approves cyber security pact with Japan

Highlighting the differences between the industrial age and the information age, he said that in the information era, the first mover did not matter; the best mover did, and “anyone can make a product any time that disrupts all existing equations of the market.” In the industrial era, boundaries mattered but the information era was “all about going beyond boundaries.” 

Technology was also setting the pace for the defence sector to evolve, Mr. Modi said adding that from software to drones to UAVs, technology was redefining the defence sector.

India-Australia partnership

Mr. Morrison said they would soon launch the Australia-India cyber and critical technologies partnership grant programme. “The relationship between India and Australia is going from strength to strength; we share a deep desire to succeed and see our region prosper in peace and safety, as ultimately that is all our technology ambition is all about, the prosperity and safety of us all”.

The two countries were working together for an open, free, safe and secure Internet. They have signed the landmark Australia-India Technology Framework on cyber and cyber-enabled technology, Mr. Morrison stated.

Australia believed that technology held the key to new science, medical research, reduction of carbon emission and tackling of global climate change, and it was now at the forefront of foreign policy, security and defence. “It is pushing us to new frontiers in civil liberties and law, in data privacy and protection. That is why the countries like Australia and India are coming together to work on the new technology challenges and opportunities,” Mr. Morrison added.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 9:52:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/technology-first-is-our-governance-model-pm-modi/article33131083.ece

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