Digital technology and virtual communication tools proved their extraordinary worth during challenging times of covid-19: Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the virtual India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020 today through video conference. The theme for IMC 2020 is “Inclusive Innovation – Smart, Secure, Sustainable”. It aims to align to the Prime Minister’s vision to promote ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’, ‘Digital Inclusivity’, and ‘Sustainable development, entrepreneurship & innovation’. It also aims to drive foreign and local investments, encourage R&D in the telecom and emerging technology sectors.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call to work together to make India a global hub for telecom equipment, design, development and manufacturing. He cautioned, due to technological upgradation, we have a culture of replacing handsets and gadgets frequently. He asked the delegates to ponder whether the industry can form a task-force to think of a better way of handling the electronic waste and create a circular economy. He urged to work together to ensure a timely roll-out of 5G to leapfrog into the future and empower millions of Indians.

The Prime Minister said it is important to think and plan how to improve lives with the upcoming technology revolution. He added that Better healthcare, Better education, Better information and opportunities for our farmers, Better market access for small businesses are some of the goals that can be worked on.

The Prime Minister lauded the delegates from the telecom sector that the world was functional despite the pandemic due to their innovation and efforts. He added that due to their efforts that a son was connected with his mother in a different city, a student learnt from his teacher without being in the classroom, a patient consulted his doctor from his home and a trader connected with a consumer/ from a different geography.

The Prime Minister said for a lot of young techies it is the Code which makes a product special, for some entrepreneurs it is Concept which matters more, investors suggest that Capital is more important to scale a product. He stressed that often what matters the most is the Conviction the youngsters have on their product. Sometimes conviction is all that stands between just a profitable exit and making of a unicorn.

The Prime Minister stressed that it is because of mobile technology that we are able to provide benefits worth billions of dollars to millions of Indians, we were able to help the poor and vulnerable quickly during the pandemic and we are seeing billions of cashless transactions which boost formalisation and transparency and we will also enable a smooth contactless interface on toll booths.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction on achieving success in mobile manufacturing in India. He said India is emerging as one of the most preferred destinations for mobile manufacturing. He added the Production Linked Incentive scheme was introduced to promote telecom equipment manufacturing in India. He said that the Government aims to bring high speed fibre-optic connectivity in every village over the next three years. He said that towards this end, focus is made exclusively on places which can make the best out of such connectivity – Aspirational Districts, Left wing extremism affected districts, North Eastern states, Lakshadweep Islands etc. He added that greater spread of fixed line broadband connectivity and public Wi-Fi hotspots will be ensured.

Apart from Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the inaugural session was attended by, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, the Minister of State for Communications, Education and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Anshu Prakash, IAS, Chairman DCC & Secretary (T), Department of Telecommunications, Shri Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited and Shri Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for electronics and information technology and Communications, said that digital technology and virtual communication tools have proved their extraordinary worth during challenging times of covid-19. The digital Technology has enabled us to liberalise our work from home systems, for example 85% of IT operations are being worked from home. India Mobile Congress is going to rejoice extraordinary excellence, it is the new milestone unfolding extraordinary opening for future, it is to create for the favourable ecosystem with mobile at the centre. While discussing about various transforming programs aimed at digital inclusion he mentioned about Bharat Net 2020 where all 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country are to be connected with high speed broadband. He also talked about the target of connecting all villages with optical fibre in next 1000 days. He also mentioned about the National Broadband Mission where broadband is to reach to all the villages by 2022. He welcomed foreign capital and foreign innovation but safety and security are also to be given equal importance.

 

The Communications Minister asked manufacturers to tap and explore the enabling atmosphere available in India. He mentioned about the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme in mobile manufacturing which has not just attracted global investment but also has led to creation of millions of jobs directly or indirectly. He urged manufacturers to come to India to manufacture and export. He said that emerging Digital Technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics etc. present a huge opportunity in India. He said that Artificial Intelligence should not be monopolised and not become a tool of weaponisation but it should lead to empowerment of the ordinary people. It should lead to betterment of education, health etc. He further added that inclusive character of our public digital platforms has already been demonstrated. He mentioned about various examples including Jan DhanYojana, JAM (Jan Dhan Accounts, Aadhar, Mobile) Trinity, Aadhar, GSTN, direct benefit transfer , UPI leading to digital transaction etc. where optimum use of digital technology has led to digital inclusion and centre of all this is ‘mobile’, the most shining instrument of inclusion.

Shri Sanjay Dhotre, the Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Communications, said that India Mobile Congress 2020 is a leading platform for Industry, Government, Academia and other stakeholders to come together and and discuss innovative solutions for upcoming future. It is the platform to display latest technology Trends including Data Analytics and data privacy, cybersecurity internet of things artificial intelligence etc.

Shri Anshu Prakash, IAS, Chairman DCC & Secretary (T), Department of Telecommunications, “We the blessed that IMC 2020 is being inaugurated by our hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. With his relentless support and encouragement we have scaled new heights in our journey towards a truly digital India. In the midst of the pandemic, our telecom sector fared well and all services were provided in an uninterrupted manner. The massive data surge which was much above the global average, were accommodated well by our telecom sector. Robotics, AI, VR, AR- every new technology will run on telecom. It is important for us now to bridge the digital divide, innovate to bring in more intelligent products that are secure and environmentally sustainable”

Lt. Gen. Dr. S P Kochar, DG COAI said, “First and foremost, in the midst of the pandemic that has gripped the world in unparalleled ways, we are grateful to the Government of India for the humongous effort put in by them to foster a facilitative environment for the entire tech and telecom industry. The telecom sector in India has reached glorious heights, despite constraints. This has been possible due to the visionary thought leadership and unstinted flawless execution capabilities provided by industry captains.”

The IMC 2020 is scheduled for 8th -10th December, and is being held virtually this year given the ongoing pandemic. This prestigious event, jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAT), will see 30+ participating countries, 210 speakers, 50+ thought leadership sessions, 150+ exhibitors, 3000+ CXO level delegates coming together this year during three day programme. This year prime Partners include Dell Technologies, Ribbon Communications and Red Hat. India’s largest technology event this year will witness the coming together of some of the top industry stalwarts, Regulators and Policy Makers from across the globe. It also includes participation from various Ministries, the Telco CEO’s, Global CEO’s and Experts in SG Broadcasting, SG Enterprise solutions, OTT, and Sustainable Futurists, virtual in the light of pandemic to discuss and deliberate upon industry issues, challenges, future trends and opportunities.

Considered the largest Digital Technology Forum in Asia, IMC has established itself as a leading platform for bringing together the industry, Government, academia, and other ecosystem players to discuss, deliberate and display the latest industry technology trends around major themes such as SG, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of things (loT), Data Analytics, Cloud and Edge Computing, Open source tech, data privacy and cyber security, Smart Cities and automation.

 

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