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The Cybermedia ICT Business Awards in Delhi

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi has underlined the need to develop an information highway through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to achieve the goal of “One Nation, One Vision and One Mission”. He said that only IT sector can “lift” up the nation to an all-round development and inclusive growth with a focus on tapping the fullest potential of the country especially youth and women.

Speaking at the XXth Dataquest ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Business Awards function organized by CyberMedia group on Friday , Shri Modi said that the global ICT and Electronics market is ever expanding.

Information Technology is becoming the growth engine which has the potential to transform India into a knowledge-led economy and society, Shri Modi said. Not only are scientists and engineers knowledge workers but so are farmers (who are putting knowledge to their farming activity to maximize the yield). ICT sector can play a major role in bringing a turnaround in agricultural revolution in the country with farmers under the age of 35 employing techniques and innovations to raise their produce, he informed.

Shri Modi alleged that 2G Spectrum scam in telecom sector has dented India’s reputation, it is not only in terms of monetary damage due to corruption but has ruined the future of youth talent of our country. Now challenge before us is how we recover from it, he said.

Shri Modi praised the vision of telecom sector during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA Government and said that it was for the first time that a separate IT ministry was formed, new IT Act and policy was passed and separate task force for telecom sector was established.

In order to empower common man Communication Technology should integrate all vernacular languages and make maximum use of signages in regular communication.

Referring to the current financial deficit, Shri Modi said that India has full potential and capability for electronic goods and products manufacturing but UPA has lost all opportunities and currently imports of electronic goods is at peak of 65 per cent and only 35 per cent is domestic production.

Emphasizing on an urgent need to establish a stronger foothold and build upon existing capabilities and competence, resource base and talent pool in this sector, Shri Modi appraised that there is a great scope for diversification, expansion and growth in the IT sector.

Earlier, the Gujarat Chief Minister interacted with 30 leading IT sector industrialists and professionals in a roundtable interaction and deliberated on sturdy growth of IT and telecom sectors in India.

He told the leaders of IT industry that innovation as well as use of technology is the inherent strength of common man but it should be institutionalized. Narrating success stories of technology-driven initiatives in Gujarat, he said that we should think out of the box to promote IT sector on skill, speed and scale. He added that Gujarat has established an Innovation Commission and I-create – world class incubation centre for innovative talent and entrepreneurship. All the 18,000 villages of Gujarat are equipped with broadband connectivity, he told the gathering after honouring IT professionals for their outstanding performance during the year 2013.

Shri Modi said that our population of 1.25 billion is, in fact, our asset. We are one of the youngest nations in the world with nearly 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35. Just imagine the mighty and the potential of this promising young talent pool. It can script a new history for the nation and the mankind. I have tremendous faith and confidence in India in general and Young India in particular.

As far as e-Governance is concerned, we not only need reform and innovation but we need to increase the scope as well. We need to work in a direction whereby the e-Governance application of the various states is effectively integrated. Gujarat has received tremendous success in its e-Governance initiatives.

He further pointed out that social media is fast becoming the voice of the common man and a very powerful tool employed in the cyberspace to connect millions of people. Government should utilize best potential of social media in citizen engagement.

While we take up the promotion of ICT, Electronics and e-Governance in a pro-active way, we must also be fully alive to the concerns of bridging the rural-urban digital divide, ensuring balanced regional development and all-round empowerment of the masses. Gujarat has subscribed to good governance through e-governance which is, in fact, easy effective and efficient governance.

Shri Modi pointed out that ICT sector faces both challenge and opportunity in present scenario. To become a superpower we don’t have to accomplish huge military brass but our ICT capability is what will count to make us a global leader, he said.

He welcomed valuable suggestions from the floor to bring in desired changes in existing policies in the IT sector for the development of telecom industry.

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