IT industry a change-agent, has power to transform country, but India must slash e-imports: Narendra Modi

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 14 2014, 20:42pm hrs
Narendra ModiDescribing IT as a change-agent, Narendra Modi said it has the power to transform the country in several ways.
Favouring reduced dependence on imports, particularly, of electronic items, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said there should be focus on manufacturing sector along with services to tide over the mismatch as also to ensure better inclusive growth.

"Electronics imports have a big share in our overall import basket. We must focus on manufacturing, particularly in strategic sectors like defence... there is also a need to focus on promoting hardware as much as software to ensure inclusive growth," Narendra Modi said during the 25th Nasscom leadership summit here through a webcast.

Stating that the country is facing several challenges, Narendra Modi said these can be converted into golden opportunities.

Describing IT as a change-agent, Modi said IT has the power to transform the country in several ways.

"I see IT as a change-agent. It empowers, connects and can bind isolated parts of the nation and create harmony. IT can join people with governments, bridge the gap between demand and supply, and can bring us closer to knowledge."

Just like the British built bridges and rail lines, information highway network can today play a very big role in transforming the nation, he said.

While there are talks about inclusive growth, what is required along with this is the inclusive infrastructure as well, the senior BJP leader said, adding, "we will put the country on road to fast inclusive development."

The Gujarat chief minister also said that e-governance is the most effective form of governance and his state has taken several initiatives in this regard to make life easier for the common man.

"We must bring down the digital divide. We can't have two Indias, one racing ahead and another moving on a reverse gear. This will add to our problems," he said.

"I keep saying that IT+IT=IT (Indian Talent + Information Technology = India Tomorrow). The IT sector can be the shining light of Brand India," he said.

"We are among the most youthful nations. Just imagine the energy and potential of this talent pool. We need to empower our youth with skills for their development and the growth of India. This way we will succeed in putting India on the road to fast and inclusive development," Narendra Modi said.

It is a known fact that those corporate houses where information is exchanged freely from bottom to top, and where effective guidance comes from top to bottom succeed, Modi said.

Calling for increased use of technology to reach out to the masses via e-governance tools, he said, "e-governance can bring minimum government and maximum governance. It is easy, effective and economic governance.

"It brings empowerment, equity and efficiency to the economy. It is a very useful field that can be the greatest problem solver of people."

Stating that Information and communications technology (ICT) training is the need-of-the-hour, Narendra Modi said it can enable the country emerge as a big service sector and business hub.

Urging Nasscom to get actively engaged in imparting skill to people in its silver jubilee year, Narendra Modi said, "What we need is the skills. Nasscom should focus on this on its silver jubilee."

Noting that use of technology can further enhance delivery of services at the grassroots levels, he said "we should aim at developing a knowledge market where every seller and buyer knows everything, and the workers in every sector are knowledge workers".