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Silicon Valley endorses “Digital India”

September 28
03:39 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai and others, at the stage for Digital India Dinner, in San Jose, California on September 26

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai and others, at the stage for Digital India Dinner, in San Jose, California on September 26

SAN JOSE, CA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed more than 350 business leaders on Saturday September 26 during his tour to the Silicon Valley, the technology hub in California. The who’s who from the technological world gave a ringing endorsement to PM’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ project.
Digital India is an initiative of Government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India. It aims at ensuring that the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork. The initiative also includes plan to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks.

This ambitious project is slated for completion by 2019. A two-way platform will be created where both the service providers and the consumers stand to benefit. The scheme will be monitored and controlled by the Digital India Advisory group which will be chaired by the Ministry of Communications and IT.
It will be an inter-ministerial initiative where all ministries and departments shall offer their own services to the public healthcare, education, judicial services etc.

“Digital India is an enterprise for the transformation of India in a scale unmatched in human history. Nothing else will do in a country with 800 million impatient youths waiting for change,” Modi told business heads and CEO’s in San Jose.

“California might be among the last places on the globe to see the sun set, but it is here that many great ideas see the first light of the day,” Modi said to thunderous applause on dinner night.

Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, John Chambers of Cisco, Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm, Venkatesh Shukla of TieCon and Shantanu Narayan, Adobe flanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the stage in San Jose, California.
Microsoft’s plan is to partner with the Indian government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India. “We believe that low-cost broad band connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

Nadella said it will announce cloud computing systems from data centers in India next week, calling it a “big milestone”. A key part of both Make in India and Digital India, bringing world class infrastructure into India, respecting Indians digital security, sovereignty and privacy is a key milestone for us,” Nadella said.

In an effort to push Digital India initiative, chipmaker Qualcomm said it will invest $150 Million for Indian start-ups in the mobile and internet-of-everything (IoE) ecosystem. “We are committed to providing local innovative start-ups with the support needed to help India’s IOE (Internet of Everything) ecosystem grow, increasing consumer choice and availability,” Qualcomm executive chairman Paul E Jacobs said.

Qualcomm’s Jacobs said the affordable smartphone revolution could end up with 250 million units being sold in 2020 and that would be an opportunity for all companies. “What is interesting is that over 60 per cent of Internet in India is now on mobile,” he said, adding that the country was poised to be a leader in technology.” An innovation lab will be set up in Bengaluru to provide technical and engineering support to Indian companies, and we will support multiple Indian mobile device design companies,” Qualcomm said.

India will play a big part in driving technology forward in the future, Google CEO Sunder Pichai said and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accelerating India’s effort to become the next global hot bed of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Google announced it will help India set up base for free Wi-Fi at 500 railway stations. Pichai announced that next month Google would make it possible for people to type in 10 different languages in India.

John T Chambers, executive chairman of Cisco, called Prime Minister Modi an ‘amazing ambassador of India,’ who has the ability to change India as well as the world. Your vision will happen. It takes a great deal of courage for a leader to do that,” he added.

Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi visited the Tesla plant where he was shown around by CEO and Founder Elon Musk. The visit highlights India’s interest in the company’s solar Powerwall technology. Later, the Prime Minister met with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Modi urged Cook to look at manufacturing in India, especially since Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn had already set up base in India. Modi and Cook also discussed the scope of Apple Pay in initiatives like the Jan Dhan Yojana to ensure banking services for all.

VIDYA SETHURAMAN

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