India has shown the world how to democratise tech, give it a human touch, says PM Modi
Inaugurating the 25th edition of Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India has shown the world how to democratise technology and give tech a human touch.
“For a long time, technology was seen as an exclusive domain. It was said to be only for the high and mighty. But India has shown how to democratise technology. India has also shown how to give tech a human touch. In India, technology is a force of equality and empowerment,” Prime Minister said in a virtual address.
He took the example of Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest health insurance scheme, which he said provides a safety net for nearly 200 million families or about 600 million people. “This programme is run based on a tech platform. India ran the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccine drive. It was run through a tech-based platform called COWIN,” he said.
On the education front, Prime Minister said the country has one of the largest online repositories of open courses which offer thousands of courses across different subjects. Over 10 million free, successful certifications have happened online. The data tariffs, among the lowest in the world, helped poor students attend online classes during COVID-19, he added.
“India is using technology as a weapon in the war against poverty. Under Svamitva scheme, we are using drones to map lands in rural areas. Then, property cards are given to the people. This reduces land disputes. It also helps the poor to access financial services and credit,” he said in his recorded speech.
During COVID-19, Jan Dhan Aadhar Mobile Trinity, a government of India initiative to link Jan Dhan accounts, mobile numbers and Aadhaar cards, helped the country to directly transfer benefits to authenticated and verified beneficiaries. It also enabled the government to help street vendors access working capital to restart businesses.
He also touched upon the government e-marketplace (GeM), which allows small traders and businesses fulfil the government’s needs. “Technology has helped small businesses find a big customer. At the same time, this has reduced the scope for corruption. Similarly, technology has helped with online tendering. This has accelerated projects and boosted transparency. It has also hit a procurement value of Rs 1 trillion last year,” he added.
Over 300 start-ups will exhibit their products and services at the event, which will have multi-track conference on IT and electronics, deep tech, start-ups and biotech besides featuring Global Innovation Alliance and India USA Tech Conclave. The start-up track at the event will focus on digital public goods, fintech, robotics, women in tech, capital beyond VCs, social entrepreneurship and grassroot innovation.
A host of global leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron; Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, UAE; Tim Watts, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia; Petri Honkonen, Minister of Science and Culture of Finland, Finland will address the event virtually. Martin Schroeter, Chairman & CEO, Kyndryl and Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO, Inmobi, have attended the inaugural function.