Narendra Modi woos India Inc
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister on Friday wooed India Inc. and sought its support in digitizing the country.
Information Technology and its unparallel impact on the India of tomorrow was at the core of Modi's address to the IT professionals at the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (NILF) 2014, on Friday morning.
Speaking on the theme of transforming India through technology, Modi addressed the session via video-conference, and spoke about the need to bring about the IT revolution in India, considering the fact that the country had all the basics required for this.
He also urged NASSCOM to get actively engaged in this pursuit.
"I see the role of IT as a change agent. It empowers, connects and can binds isolated parts of India and create harmony. IT can join people with governments, bridge the gap between demand and supply, and can bring us closer to knowledge," said Modi.
Signifying the current day relevance of IT in the corporate world, Modi said that it is a known fact that those corporate houses where information goes freely from bottom to top and where effective guidance comes from top to bottom succeed.
He spoke of his confidence in the impact and effectiveness of IT by stating, "I keep saying IT+ IT= IT (Indian Talent+ Information Technology = India Tomorrow). The IT sector can be the shining light of Brand India."
Modi underscored the significance of IT in the domain of e-governance, while also stating the tremendous impact it could have in grievance redressal.
"E-governance can bring minimum government and maximum governance. It is easy, effective and economic governance. It brings empowerment, equity and efficiency of the economy. It is a very useful field that can be the greatest problem solver of people," said Modi, while sharing his concern that most leaders in power today were further confusing the issues rather than bringing solutions.
While speaking on the vast potential of IT in converting challenges into golden opportunities, Modi emphasized on the need to empower the youth with necessary skills.
"We are among the most youthful nations of the world. Just imagine the energy and potential of this talent pool. We need to empower our youth with skills for their development and the growth of India. This way we will succeed in putting India on the road to fast and inclusive development," he said.
Stressing on the imminent need to focus on ICT training, Modi highlighted Gujarat's efforts towards this by citing the eMPOWER (electronic manpower) programme.
He spoke of how ICT training was the need-of-the-hour, and could enable India emerge as a big service sector and business hub.
"What we need is the skills. NASSCOM should focus on this on its silver jubilee," said Modi.
Highlighting his vision of creating a Digital India, Modi said, "India should become a digital India, which is a knowledge-based society and economy. We are a very diverse nation, with every district having its specialities. We need networks to integrate this and the IT industry can do this. By 2022, when we celebrate 75 years of freedom, we must be a different nation. And IT can be the growth engine of New India."
He said that by then our market should become a knowledge market where every seller and buyer knows everything, and the workers in every sector are knowledge workers.
"Use of technology can further enhance grassroot services," added Modi.
He also cited the need to focus on promoting software as much as hardware, while stating that such an approach would only ensure inclusive growth.
He put forth that it was the collective responsibility of software engineers, IT professionals and hardware manufactuers to promote software since, according to Modi, real strength lies in software utility.
He encouraged NASSCOM and its representing companies to focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, enabled by IT.
"Through CSR can you take up any one problem that India faces. You can take up a problem, form task forces and focus on resolving the issue," said Modi, while giving an example of tackling the drop-out ratio in schools via IT-enabled tools.
Stressing on the need to adapt IT into governance, Modi spoke of how we need to focus on bringing features of like and share in governance, and how effective this could prove in the One Day Governance model adapted in Gujarat.
"We have to bring features of like and share in governance. Through social media we must ensure every citizen is involved in governance," he said.
He also urged the decision makers of the IT world to ensure that the digital divide being experienced in India does not percolate further.
"Digital Divide means that what a person can get through IT in a city is not available to a person in remote villages. We cannot let the digital divide spread. We cannot have 2 Indias like this, where one is running fast but the other is on the reverse gear," said Modi.
Putting forth his views of the immense scope of IT in varying domains, Modi mentioned how the application of IT in infrastructure could change the face of the country.
"Information Highway Network can play a very big role in transforming the nation. It can be a matter of great strength. The sooner we adopt IT the better, the sooner we deploy it, the better it and the sooner we master it the better," stated Modi, while also speaking about the need for the government and the IT industry to join hands for the creation of harmony in the society, to reduce the gap between demand and supply and thereby get the people closer to knowledge.
He spoke of his belief in the power of IT, by saying, "I am personally a great advocate of technology. IT can and will transform our lives...it is an inevitable force in the modern world."
He further spoke of his fondness to stay connected with the people of the country through social media network, and how their feedback and suggestions had been a source of inspiration for him.
Aspects of cyber security and the role of Information Technology in the security concerns of the nation were also shared by Modi.
(Posted on 14-02-2014)