Ladies and Gentlemen
I am happy to inauguratethe World Congress on Information Technology. This event is being held in India for the first time. It has been organizedin partnership with NASSCOM, WITSA and the Government of Telangana.
I am sure, it shall be of mutual benefit to investors, innovators, think-tanks and other stakeholders from across the world. I would have liked to be there in person. I am happy, however, that the power of IT enables me to address you remotely.
To all the delegates joining us from abroad: Welcome to India.Welcome to Hyderabad.
On the side-lines of this conference, I hope you shall have some timeto explore the vibrant history, and delectable cuisine of Hyderabad. I am sure, it shall encourage you to visit other parts of India as well.
Indeed, India is home to ancient, rich and diverse cultures, through which runsan under-lying theme of unity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The concept of “VasudhaivaKutumbakam– the world is one family”,is deeply imbibed
in Indian philosophy. It reflects our inclusive traditions.In the twenty-first century,technology is becomingan enabler or this concept. It helps us create a seam-less, integrated world.
A world where geographical distanceno longer remains a barrier in collaborating for a better future.Today,India is the hot-spot of digital innovation,across all sectors.
We not only have a growing number of innovative entrepreneurs,but also a growing market for tech innovation. We wereand we remainone of the most tech friendly populations in the world.With over one lakh villages linked with optical fiber,121 crore Mobile phones, 120 crore Aadhaar and 50 crore internet users,
India is best placed to leverage the power of technologyand leap-frog into the futurewhile ensuring empowerment of every citizen. Digital India is a journeybringing about digital inclusionfor digital empowermentaided by digital infrastructurefor digital delivery of services.Leveraging technology in such a holistic mannerwas unthinkable some years ago.
We have successfully completed this life-cyclein the last 3 and a half years.This has been possiblethrough a change in public behavior and processes. Digital Indiahas not remained merely a Government initiative,but has become a way of life.
Technology has transcended power-point presentationsand has become an inseparable part of people’s lives.While most Government initiatives depend on a Government push,Digital India is succeeding because of the people’s pull.
The JAM trinityof combining 320 million Jan Dhan bank accounts of poor with Aadhaar and Mobilewith direct benefits of welfare measureshas saved Rupees 57 thousand Crores.
Around 22 million digital hospital transactionsacross 172 hospitals in Indiaare bringing comfort in the lives of patients.The National Scholarship Portalfor easy Scholarships todayhas 14 million students registered on it.
eNAM- an online agriculture market offering the best prices to the farmers has 6.6 million farmers registered and 470 agriculture markets connected.Digital payments through BHIM-UPIhas registered transactions of Rupees fifteen thousand Crore in January 2018.
The unique Umang app launched only three months back is already offering 185 Government services.
Today 2.8 lakh Common Services Centersarethere in different parts of the countrygiving many digital services to people. About 10 lakh people work in these centers,including thousands of women entrepreneurs.In order to leverage the skills & talent of our youth,BPOs have started operating from places like Kohima and Imphal in North East Indiato areas of Jammu and Kashmir.86 Units across 27 states and Union territorieshave already become operationaland many more are likely to come up soon.
To ensure digital literacy in every house-hold,we have initiated a Pradhan Mantri Rural Digital Literacy Missionto make 60 million adults digitally literate in rural India. Under this10 million people have already been trained.
We have come a long waywith the convergence of Make In India & Digital India. From only two mobile manufacturing units in India in 2014,today there are 118 units operational in India,including some of the best global brands.
Government e-Market-place has been developed as the National Procurement Portal of India.It enables small and medium enterprisesto compete in meeting the procurement requirements of the Government.This simple IT frameworkhas improved transparency in Government procurement.It has also speeded upprocurement processes,and empowered thousands of small and medium enterprises.
Yesterday,at Mumbai University, I had the opportunity to dedicate to the nation,theWadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence.This is an independent,non-profit research institute,with a mission of Artificial Intelligence for Social Good.
A few days ago,in Dubai,at the World Government Summit,I had the opportunityto visit an exhibitionon the “Museum of the Future.” This has been plannedas an incubator for ideas,and a driver for innovation. I appreciate the pioneers of technology,some of whom are in the audience today,for the work they are doing. They are helpingto secure a better, more comfortable future for humanity.
We stand today,at the cusp of the fourth Industrial Revolution.Technology,if used well for public good,can deliver lasting prosperity to mankind and a sustainable future for our planet.It is in this context,thatI place the World Conference on Information Technology,in India today.
The key themes at this Conference,reflect the opportunities that await us.Disruptive technologiessuch as Block-chain and the Internet of Things,will have a deep impactin the way we live and work.They will require rapid adaptation in our workplaces.
Skilling citizensfor the workplace of the futureis Important.In India,we have launched the National Skill Development Missionto prepare our children and youthfor a bright future.We also need to ensurethat our existing work-forceis able to re-skill, as new technologies emerge.
One of the invited speakers at this event,the robot Sophia shows the potential of new technologies.We need to reflecton the changing nature of jobs,in the emerging age of intelligent automation .I compliment NASSCOMfor developing the “Skills of the Future” platform.
I am told, NASSCOM has identified eight important technologies.They include Artificial Intelligence,Virtual Reality,Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things,
Big Data Analytics,3D Printing,Cloud Computing,Socialand Mobile. NASSCOM has also identifiedfifty-five job rolesthat are going to be in high demand globally.
I am sure,the "skills of future" platform will greatly help Indiamaintain its competitive edge.Digital technologyis now at the heart of every business.
New technologies must be embeddedin various operations and processesof a business entity.
How can we prepareour millions of small and medium businessesfor this transformation,in a short time?Keeping in mind the importance of innovation,in the future of economy and business,the Government of Indiahas launched the Start-up India initiative.
We believeour startups are the keyto finding viable and economical solutions across sectors and verticals.
Under the Atal Innovation Mission,we are building Atal Tinkering Labsin schools across India.The objective of this schemeisto foster curiosity,creativityand imagination in young minds.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am sure,that as you deliberateon various themes of Information Technology,you shall keep the interests of the common manat the back of your mind. I once again welcomethe distinguished delegates from across the world,to India.May your deliberations be productive.
May the outcomes benefit the poor and the under-privilegedacross the world.