“India as a country is uniquely positioned to leap ahead in the information era,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his virtual address today (19 November) at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020.
“We have the best minds as well as the biggest markets,” he said.
The Bengaluru Tech Summit kicked off today and will go on till 21 November.
The Government of Karnataka is organising the summit along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society; Karnataka government’s Vision Group on Information Technology, Biotechnology & StartUp; Software Technology Parks of India; and MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications.
The theme of the 23rd summit is "Next is Now".
Prime Minister Modi said it was fitting that technology was helping organise this important summit on technology.
In his address, he spoke about the key role of technology in his government’s work and the benefits it has yielded, and how India is well-placed for the future on the back of technology.
“We launched Digital India Mission five years back. Today, I am glad to say that Digital India is no longer being seen as any regular government initiative. Digital India has become a way of life – particularly for the poor, the marginalised, and for those in government.”
He said India witnessed a more human-centred approach to development, thanks to the Digital India initiative.
“Our governance model is technology first,” he said, describing how technology has “enhanced human dignity”. He pointed to the fact that farmers received monetary support with greater ease with the help of technology.
“At the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown, it was technology that ensured India’s poor received proper and quick assistance.
“The scale of relief has few parallels."
Prime Minister Modi also spoke about the proliferation of internet connections in India in recent years. “Internet came to India around 25 years ago. As per a report, the number of internet connections recently crossed the 750-million milestone. But do you know that over half of these numbers joined in the last four years only?”
This rise in internet adoption has impacted several important areas.
“Today when we are able to help the poor build their home at an unprecedented scale, speed, and transparency, it is thanks to technology.
Today when we are able to provide electricity to almost all households, technology has played a key role.
Today when we are able to cross (the) toll booth faster, it is due to technology.
Today it is also technology which gives us the confidence that we will be able to vaccinate our large population in a short period of time,” he said.
According to Prime Minister Modi, the way ahead lies in “learning and growing together”. He said this approach has inspired the rise of incubation centres in India.
He also appreciated the “great culture of hackathons in India”.
“Our young minds come together and think of ways to solve key challenges our country and planet faces,” he said.
“Challenges bring out the best in people.”
The Prime Minister also drew a contrast between the industrial era of the past and the information era of the present.
He said that while the industrial era was characterised by linear change, first-mover advantage, the importance of boundaries, and the challenge of procuring raw materials, the information era is defined by disruptive change, best-mover advantage, going beyond boundaries, and the ubiquitous nature of and wide access to the modern raw material that is information.
India has an advantage in this information era, he said.
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