“Every citizen of the country must be digitally connected,” said honorable prime minister of India, Narendra Modi while giving his speech at Digital India dinner during his visit to Silicon Valley. In presence of Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Cisco’s John Chambers, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, Google’s Sunder Pichai and The Indus Entrepreneurs president Venkatesh Shukla, Modi said that in this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago.
While delivering speech, PM wished that every citizen of the country must be digitally connected. “We want our 1.25 billion citizens to be digitally connected. We already have broadband usage across India go up by 63% last year. We need to accelerate this further,” he said.
If India goes 100% digital, distances across country won’t be an issue. Life in rural or even semi-urban would become better. This will certainly push up the realty prices in rural as well as in urban areas of the country.
Along with national and state highways, India is going ato build I-ways. “We have launched an aggressive expansion of the National Optical Fibre Network that will take broadband to our 6 lakh villages. We will connect all schools and colleges with broadband. Building I-ways are as important as highways,” said Modi.
Very soon, the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots will grow multi-fold. He said that India wants to ensure that free Wi Fi is not only there in airport lounges, but also on railway platforms. Teaming up with Google, we will cover 500 railway stations in a short time. To begin with, Google is starting with New Delhi.
Government is going to use technology to build smart cities in the country. About 100 smart cities are already short listed and soon government is likely to begin developing them one by one.
Rising inflation rate is always going to be a challenge for the developing economy like India. Without technology it will be impossible even to face such challenge. “Affordability of products and services is critical for our success. There are many dimensions to this. We will promote manufacture of quality and affordable products in India. That is part of our vision of Make in India, Digital India and Design in India,” said Modi.
Government has to change the vision and think a like technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Adobe and others.” So, from creating infrastructure to services, from manufacture of products to human resource development, from support governments to enabling citizens and promoting digital literacy, Digital India is a vast cyber world of opportunities for you,” he said.
It does not matter these days whether you are fast asleep or awake. What matters is whether you are online or offline. In his speech, he also said that Google has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle. Twitter has turned everyone into a reporter. The traffic lights that need to work the best are on CISCO routers.
“The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline. The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows,” he said.
While concluding his speech he mentioned we have the responsibility to shape a future of peace, stability and prosperity in this region. “We all know that the dynamic Asia Pacific Region will shape the course of this century. And, India and the United States, the world’s two largest democracies, are located at the two ends of this region. Our relationship is also defined by the power of youth, technology and innovation. These can ignite a partnership that will advance and sustain prosperity in our two countries,” he said.
Before thanking the august gathering, Modi said, “even more, in this Digital Age, we can draw on the strength of our values and partnership to shape a better and more sustainable future for the world.”
Zuckerberg try to grill PM in Q&A
In a wonderful interactive session between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg at headquarter of Facebook, Modi told that Social media brought a big change in my thought process. In the interaction at length, prime minister invited world to ‘Make in India’.
After welcoming prime minister Narendra Modi, in the question and answer session, Zuckerberg raised a question and asked, “You were one of the early adopters of the internet and social media and Facebook. Did you, at the point, think that social media and the internet would become an important tool for governing and citizen engagement and policy?”
In a crisp and precise answer, Modi said that before adopting social media I never knew that I would become chief minister and prime minister in future. It was just a curiosity of knowing and learning new technology, I adopted social media.
“At the moment, there is a wide gap between public and government. This is a big problem. But with the use of social media, we have come to know where we are lacking in governance. Thanks to social media, I and my government is being voted 24 hours. This helps me in understanding the situation and taking right decision,” he said.
Modi further informed that earlier, one used to get latest news only through newspapers in the morning. “Many times, we used to get the news after 24 hours. Now, the news are delivered in 24 seconds. That is the impact of social media,” he said.
Talking about government and governance, Modi also said that if people in government are conscious enough, they can take corrective measures on real time information. In that way, social media has played an important role in defining the right governance.