Since the Modi government has come into power in 2014, it has taken several momentous decisions to ensure internet access to all Indians and working to make India a global powerhouse on associated industries like mobile handset manufacturing, IT, software companies etc.
India’s Digital Revolution
PM Modi highlighted the speed and scale with which internet has penetrated in India, and put forth the following facts:
- India has billion plus phone users each with unique digital identity and over 750 million internet users
- Half of the total internet users in India were added in the last 4 years.
- Half of the total internet users are in our rural areas.
- India is one of the fastest growing mobile app market in the world with among the lowest tariffs
- Mobile technology has enabled billions of cashless transactions which boost formalisation and transparency and helped deliver aid to poor and vulnerable directly during the pandemic
- Mobile technology will also enable India to embark on one of the world’s largest covid-19 vaccination drive
Ensuring Connectivity for All Indians To Improve Their Lives
PM Modi stressed on how since the first ever telephone call was made, India has come a very long way. However, much of this happened over the past decade. In fact, even a decade back it was difficult to imagine the kind of impact the mobile revolution would create on our country, society and the world. He also emphasised that the future that lies ahead will make the present system appear primitive.
In this context, it is important to think and plan of ways to improve lives with the upcoming technology revolution. better healthcare, better education, better information and opportunities for our farmers, and better market access for small businesses are some of the goals the world and India especially can work towards.
It is important to think & plan how do we improve lives with the upcoming technology revolution.
Better information and opportunities for our farmers,
Better market access for small businesses
are some of the goals we can work towards: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 8, 2020
He also highlighted steps such as linking of Andaman and Nicobar Islands with fibre optic cable, and internet connectivity programs in Aspirational Districts, left wing extremism affected districts, North Eastern states, Lakshadweep Islands etc being carried out to ensure last mile internet connectivity. The Government is also embarking on a plan to ensure that over the next three years every village will have high speed fibre-optic connectivity.
Boosting Cutting Edge Tech Sectors
PM Modi also highlighted steps being taken by the government to unlock the full potential of the IT and Telecom sector. The new Other Services Provider Guidelines are aimed to help the Indian IT services industry achieve new heights and have the potential to boost growth of this sector even in a post-pandemic scenario. This initiative will help to democratize the IT services industry and take it to the far corners of our country.
PM Modi also noted that in the current era, mobile apps which are a few years old are surpassing the value of companies which are present since decades. This is a good sign for India, and our young innovators too as they are working on many products which have the potential to go global.
He also shared an interesting anecdote. A lot of young techies highlight that it is the Code which makes a product special, whereas some entrepreneurs say that it is Concept which matters more. Investors suggest that it is Capital which is important to scale a product. But 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. So, my message to my young friends would be to have faith in their potential as well as products,” PM Modi said.
A lot of young techies tell me that it is the Code which makes a product special.
Some entrepreneurs tell me that it is Concept which matters more.
Investors suggest that it is Capital which is important to scale a product: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 8, 2020
Industry Responds Positively
Industry leaders responded positively to PM Modi’s push to roll out 5G in India and also listed the benefits India would gain through its roll out.
Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel said that India is poised to derive full benefit of global investments on 5G standards and ecosystems in the coming two-three years, as equipment prices come down and devices become available
He also termed space as the “next frontier of communications” and added that India’s proactive lead in the space industry and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Department of Space’s call to private sector, would ensure that advantages move in the country’s favour in space communication industry, as well.
He praised PM Modi for showing tremendous foresight in putting out a consultation paper to invite private sector into space industry to launch satellites, to manufacture satellites, to start satellite communications.
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani said that 5G service to be offered by Jio is a testimony of PM Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) policy and added that Jio 5G service will roll-out in India in the second half of 2021 itself.