New Delhi, July 2 2015 ( updated July 3 0800 2015): India's ambitious digitization and digital governance programme was launched yesterday by the Prime Minister, by kicking off Digital India week in New Delhi.
Mr Narendra Modi, exhorted the captains of India's 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. It was not enough for India to say that it is an ancient civilization, and a country of 1.25 billiion, he said, modern technology needs to be blended with these strengths. He 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.
"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 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. Similarly, the Prime Minister 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. He 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."
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft says: Microsoft is proud to be a part of Digital India launch and believe that technology can uniquely support the government’s initiatives in key areas including: rural internet connectivity, digital cloud services for all it’s citizens, and communications and productivity services for the Government.At Microsoft, our focus is on empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.Likewise, the Digital India initiative is focused on harnessing the power of technology to help India transform.In fact, to help drive this transformation we are bringing our marquee cloud services – Microsoft Azure, Dynamics and Office 365 – to local datacentres in India to accelerate cloud innovation, connect every Indian and every Indian business to the world through our global hyper-scale cloud.We believe that the democratizing force of software and digital technology will enable India’s future innovators and entrepreneurs to purse their dreams, Indian businesses to transform and seize the opportunities ahead and enable the talent and ingenuity of the human capital in India to thrive. I look forward to seeing how technology can enable India’s transformation in the years ahead.
Vineet Kshirsagar, Senior Director & Head(Government Business), Oracle India: Today is a landmark day in the history of India. As the Prime Minister launches the Digital IndiaWeek, the dream of being an empowered technology-driven economy is one step closer to reality. Our conviction that India will be one of the foremost countries in the world became stronger last year when the initiative was announced and now our excitement has reached a crescendo. We feel Digital India is no longer an initiative by the government, it has evolved into a revolution, a movement. Oracle has been working tirelessly in the Indian public sector over the last two decades and on this momentous day, we are inspired and overwhelmed to see the exhilaration not just from the government but from the citizens of this nation as well. We congratulate the government on this milestone and want to assure the Prime Minister that Oracle is prepared to support his team to make India a force to reckon with.”
Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President - Sales, Asia, Pacific and Japan, Symantec:The 'Digital India’ program can indeed empower inclusive and sustainable growth by harnessing the power of talent and technology to create the India of tomorrow. With initiatives such as countrywide broadband access and digital locker linked with Aadhaar and mobile, the possibilities are endless. However, people, their information and country’s critical information infrastructure needs to be properly and adequately secured.As the largest cybersecurity organization globally, Symantec is committed to the Digital India initiative. Recognizing the goals of the “Digital India” agenda and inspired by the vision of Prime Minister Modi and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Prasad, Symantec recently announced a partnership with NASSCOM that intends to train 50,000 cyber security professionals.”
Hari Om Rai, Chairman & Managing Director, Lava International : Three key pillars that will define India’s transformation into a digitized nation will be Make in India, Skill India and Digital India. And technology will be at the core of this. Being one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in India, Lava is committed to these initiatives. We have already set up our first manufacturing unit in Noida and plan to invest INR 12 billion to scale it up in a phased manner. The facility will be ramped up to eventually have a target production capacity of 100 million phones per annum and employment potential for 100,000 people.
M.N. Vidyashankar, President, IESA: “We appreciate the Government of India’s Digital India programme and its huge thrust on the Electronics Development Fund which will give impetus towards inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities and call to reduce dependence on imports. The defined focus on ‘Design in India’ is well aligned to IESA’s ‘Innovation Led Design and Design Led Manufacturing’ vision to achieveIndia’s manufacturing reality. The three point agenda around Electronics Development Fund (EDF), Centre of Excellence for IoT and National Centre for Flexible Electronics (NCFlexE) are key for the ESDM sector."
Rahul Patwardhan, CEO, NIIT Ltd. on Digital India launch:Technology is a great enabler and has the potential to make high-quality education available to the masses across India. However the requisite Infrastructure & Security needs to be in place in order to set the ball rolling for digital education. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India campaign aims to address these issues, hence the ecosystem we seek to deliver technology enabled quality education is not a distant reality.Digital India needs digital Indians. NIIT has trained 35 million Indians in IT over the last 34 years. We commit ourselves to support the goal of 100% digital literacy. Digital India projects will need a huge digital workforce across the length and breadth of India. NIIT will continue to support IT professionals to meet the need through our network of over 500 multi- skilling centres.
Do see our special feature detailing the government's Digital India programme