Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital India Week in the presence of various stakeholders of the industry outlining the digital revolution in India. Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, J.P. Nadda, Thaavar Chand Gehlot, Jual Oram, and Nirmala Sitharaman were also present at the launch of the Digital India Week in New Delhi on 1 July, 2015.
“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,” the Prime Minister said.
Since the initial announcement of the Digital India project in 2014, technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, and Facebook among others have expressed interest in the digital revolution in India and have launched initiatives to support the project. Mr Modi urged the IT 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.
In order to push Indian-origin technology in the country, the Prime Minister assured full support to young entrepreneurs who wished to launch Start-ups. He called upon the youth to innovate and said ‘Design in India’ is as important as ‘Make in India.’
“It is commendable that government is working on connectivity for all and Internet for all. Projects like National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) that will connect 250 gram panchayats via network of seven lakh kilometres of optical fibre, will ensure inclusion of villages in the economic growth,” said Vikram Raichura, Managing Director of VivaConnect.
“However, laying of such a huge infrastructure will take time and meanwhile, government and private players can utilise huge telecom network (Mobile Phones and Landlines) of around 1 billion subscribers. The offline tools like Voice Calls with Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) in regional languages can be used to impart education, disseminate information and operate essential services,” he added.
The marketing and advertising industry in India is evolving and if brands ignore the digital advancements in the arena they stand the risk of diluting their brand value. Mr Modi said that it was not enough for India to say that it is an ancient civilisation, and a country of 125 crore with favourable demography. He said modern technology needs to be blended with strengths of the country.
Mr Modi reiterated his Government’s resolve to not allow the digital divide to become a barrier between people. He outlined his vision of e-governance and mobile governance, where all important Government services are available on the mobile phone for all.
Mr Modi said, “The Digital India initiative was aimed at improving the lives of the common man. He said that India may have missed the Industrial Revolution, but will not miss the IT revolution.”
Nevertheless, digitisation comes with its set of shortfalls too and cyber-related risks is one of them. PM Modi defined it as a global threat of ‘bloodless war,’ and called upon the IT community to serve the entire world by building credible cyber-security systems, at the launch of Digital India Week.
“Digital transformation is not just a need for businesses today, but is a need for the entire country as well. With more ‘connected’ consumers, businesses will now have the power to reach 1.2 billion people to meet their health, banking, insurance, travel, retail, and education needs. Companies will have to reimagine their traditional way of doing business, and will have an opportunity to strike more meaningful conversations with their consumers which might have been hitherto unreachable,” said Karishma Gupta, Director Digital Transformations at SapientNitro.