Digital India Week: ‘Design in India’ as important as ‘Make in India’, says PM Narendra Modi

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New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2019 11:10:08 AM

Narendra Modi said, "I dream of a Digital India where the world looks to India for the next big idea"

Digital India WeekDigital India Week: PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Digital India Week’ at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi today.

Articulating global worries over cyber security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India should come up with solutions to meet the challenge posed by this threat of “bloodless war” as he launched a digital campaign to which top companies pledged Rs 4.5 lakh crore.

Inaugurating ‘Digital India Week’ here, he pitched for a digital revolution in the country, saying it is necessary to deal with problems like corruption, help provide transparent and efficient governance and bridge the rich-poor divide.

“We have to move from E-governance to M-governance. M-governance does not mean Modi governance. It means Mobile governance,” he said in the presence of several ministerial colleagues and who’s who of Indian industry and CEOs of some global companies.

The Prime Minister noted that India has huge capabilities in the field of IT and promised to encourage manufacturing within the country of electronic goods, which account for second largest imports after petroleum products. He specifically mentioned start ups in this regard.

While highlighting the advantages of the IT, Modi said, at the same time, “clouds of a bloodless war are hovering over the world. The world is terrified by this….India has a big role to play in this.

“Can India play this big role? India has talent. Can India provide a shield to the world by providing innovative and credible solutions? Why should we not have such a confidence? We should accept this challenge to ensure that the entire humanity lives in peace,” Modi said.

While talking about dangers posed to cyber security, he said, “somebody, with education of 10th or 12th class, sitting thousands of miles away, can clean up your bank account with a click of mouse.” This situation needs to be addressed, he said.

Noting that India had lagged behind when the world went through the industrial revolution, the Prime Minister said he dreams of a “Digital India’ where government services are easily available to citizens on mobile devices.

“I dream of a Digital India where government proactively engages with people through social media… I dream of Digital India where cyber security becomes integral part of national security,” he said, reminding the audience of the historical speech of Martin Luther King.

Citing advantages of IT, Modi said it helps in dealing with problems like corruption. “Technology played a big role in auction of coal mines. So many coal mines were auctioned but there is no allegation against the government because it was all done in a transparent manner,” he said.

The function was attended by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani, Bharati Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry, Aditya Birla Group chief Kumarmangalam Birla, Wipro’s Azim Premji.

From among the global companies, Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of European consortium Airbus’ Defence and Space unit, and Ping Chang, CEO of Taiwanese company Delta Electronics, attended the event.

The industrialists made announcements regarding their intention to invest in digital sector, which the Prime Minister said amounted to over Rs 4.5 lakh crore with a potential to generate 18 lakh jobs.

Mukesh Ambani announced an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore over five years and said it will result in creation of 5 lakh jobs. He said his company was working with device makers to make affordable devices.

Birla promised to invest USD 7 bn in next 5 years in network rollout and infra and digital space.

Mittal committed to invest Rs 1 lakh crore in next five years in digital space while Anil Ambani promised to invest Rs 10,000 crore over next few years across digital, cloud and telecom space.

Delta CEO pledged USD 500 million.

Pointing out that times have changed and the India will be left behind unless it carries out revolution in the IT field, the Prime Minister exhorted the industry to boost production of electronic devices and goods in the country, as part of the “Make in India” initiative, to reduce dependence on imports.

He called upon the youth to innovate and said “Design in India” is as important as “Make in India.”

Promising government support to ‘start ups’, Modi said India has the potential of becoming the second country after the USA in this area.

Talking about possibilities in the IT world, he said there could a situation wherein information could be stored in “digital lockers” with private companies offering such facilities.

“India may have missed the Industrial Revolution, but will not miss the IT revolution,” he said, adding, “it is not enough for India to say that it is an ancient civilization, and a country of 125 crore with favourable demography… modern technology needs to be blended with these strengths.”

Modi underlined his government’s resolve to not allow the Digital Divide to become a barrier between people and outlined his vision of e-governance and mobile governance, where all important Government services are available on the mobile phone.

“I dream of a digital India where High-speed Digital Highways unite the Nation; 1.2 billion connected Indians drive innovation; technology ensures the citizen-government interface is incorruptible,” he said at the function which was attended by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, J P Nadda, Thaavar Chand Gehlot, Jual Oram and Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Prime Minister said that earlier, India was criticized for launching satellites, but now it was recognized that these satellites help the common man, for instance, farmers through accurate weather forecasting.

He said in the future, people would prefer to live along the ‘Digital Highways’ like in earlier ages populations would settle along rivers and seas and later along the highways of roads.

Modi also unveiled the “Digital India” logo and released policy documents related to Digital India. He also felicitated two women CSC village level entrepreneurs.

Also read: 15 things you need to know about Digital India Week

Here are highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during Digital India Week inauguration:

* I dream of a Digital India where the world looks to India for the next big idea

* I dream of a Digital India where govt is open and governance is transparent

* I dream of a Digital India where high speed digital I-ways unite the nation. Where knowledge is strength and empowers people

* IT can be used in a big way to eliminate corruption:

* World is facing danger of blood-less war; threat of cyber warfare threatening nations

* Design-in-India equally important as Make-in-India: Modi emphasising the need for innovations.

* Have to move from e-governance to m-governance; m-governance does not mean Modi Governance but Mobile Governance

* Civilisations will be build where optical fibres pass

Here are the Digital India Week inauguration highlights:

* Digital India is to bridge the Digital divide in India, says Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

* PM Narendra Modi announces an array of products under Digital India campaign, including Bharat Net, Digital Locker, National Scholarships Portal.

* PM Modi launches the Digital India book that focuses on the nine pillars of the campaign.

* Digital India is party-neutral, says Ravi Shankar Prasad.

* Kiran Kumari and Tanuja awarded for their exceptional work in the area of Digital India.


* Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani says Digital India empowers youth to fulfill their aspirations and he believes it will be a huge success. Mukesh Ambani will invest Rs 2.5 lakh crore across Digital India pillars. Ambani says will create Jio Digital India start up fund and work with device makers to make affordable devices.

* Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry says that the Government of India’s Digital India programme has been received overwhelmingly and with enthusiasm by industry.

* Wipro chairman Azim Premji spoke about digitizing the healthcare system in India.

* Bharti Group chairman Sunil Mittal commits to make a meaningful contribution to Digital India initiative by spending in excess of $16 billion over next five years on digital infrastructure 

* Aditya Birla Group to invest $7 bn in next 5 yrs in network rollout and infra and digital space, revealed  K M Birla.

* Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Limited spoke of connecting Jammu and Kashmir through optic fiber technology. He also revealed that Sterlite Tech will invest Rs 400 billion for manufacturing LCD panels in India.

* Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group commits to invest about Rs 10,000 crore over the next few years to expand its presence across digital, cloud computing and telecom space.

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The event was attended by top industry captains including Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Wipro chairman Azim Premji, Bharti Group chairman Sunil Mittal, Airbus Defence & Space CEO Dr Bernhard Gerbert and Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani among others.

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