Rahul Gandhi urges youth to contribute to India's growth
New Delhi, Jan.30 : Congress Party vice-president and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family Rahul Gandhi has urged the youth to come forward and contribute to the growth of the country.
Chairing a talk on 'Future of the Internet- 1.2 Billion Empowered Indians' and sharing the stage with the vice president and chief internal evangelist of Google Vinton G Cerf here yesterday, Gandhi said: "You got to stop asking your politicians how they are going to do this or that and start asking yourself, how you are going to do it. Because that is how this country is going to move forward."
Gandhi family background and relative youth make him the party's main hope for elections due next year.
Gandhi was also questioned about the distribution of free Aakash tablets by the government in the past one year.
He said: "Frankly, I am not the person who came up with the Aakash tablet. You need to ask the gentleman who came up with it and you need to ask him that question."
In 2011, India launched what it dubbed the world's cheapest tablet computer, to be sold to students at the subsidised price of 35 dollars and later in shops for about 60 dollars.
Most of India's 1.2 billion people are poor and products such as Apple Inc's iPad are beyond the reach even of many in the fast-growing middle class.
Two years in development, the paperback book-sized Aakash may help the government's goal of incorporating information technology in education, although critics were doubtful of its mass appeal.
Despite being a leader in software and IT services, India trails fellow BRIC nations Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get the masses connected to the Internet and mobile phones, a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft said this year.
The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010 in India, according to another recent report. Still, just eight percent of Indians have access. That compares with nearly 40 percent in China.
The Aakash is aimed at university students for digital learning via a government platform that distributes electronic books and courses.
Some 19 million people subscribe to mobile phones every month, making India the world's fastest growing market, but most are from the wealthier segment of the population in towns.