Ravi Shankar Prasad, union minister for communications, electronics and information technology and law and justice, Government of India today clarified that Atmanirbhar Bharat doesn’t mean isolated India. “Atmanirbhar Bharat means India is an active participant in the global economy and this is the crux of the whole PLI scheme. India’s time in the global electronic manufacturing has come,” he said. The Minister was speaking at the 15th India Digital Summit, organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
Prasad said that India has become the hub of mobile manufacturing and this process is irreversible. Speaking about the success of the PLI scheme, Prasad said that the scheme was launched during the height of COVID in April 2020 just to test the capacity of India and the attraction of India. He added: “Thrilled to mention that all the top companies have applied, and they have committed to make mobile phone and equipments worth INR 10 lakh crores in the coming five years out of which Rs 7 lakh crore is for exports.
Addressing the delegates, Prasad said: “India is today the hub of mobile manufacturing and this process if irreversible. What future I further want to add up to this initiative is that India must become the biggest manufacture centre of laptop manufacturing, of machine 2 machine equipments, of tablets etc. I want to develop that ecosystem – from mobile phones, to smart phones to laptops to tablets to M2M equipments, to IoT devices, India must become a huge center of these equipment manufacturing.”
He mentioned that in 2014, India had only 2 mobile factories, but now India is home to 268 mobile factories. “We have become the 2nd biggest mobile manufacturer in the world, and it is one of my wishes to make India number one,” he added.
Talking about MSIPs he said that it is important to come up with right set of policies. Based on the success of MSIPS and electronic manufacturing, “We decided to go in a big way on production linked incentives. The idea is to bring global champion companies to India and enable Indian companies to become national” he added.
Prasad said that Digital India was consciously designed to empower ordinary Indians and to bridge the digital divide and bring in digital inclusion. “Inclusion was the hallmark of Digital India. In last 5 and a half years, we sent direct benefit transfer to close to 13 lakh crore and saved US24 billion dollars. We disbursed close to Rs 8 thousand crores to Aadhar enabled payment during COVID and the postal department played a crucial role in this.”
Citing the examples of Aarogya Setu and WANI, he said that these initiatives are indicative of tectonic shifts in the digital ecosystem of India. Even in vaccination, COVID digital platform is going to play a crucial role in managing the logistics of vaccination in the entire country. “Therefore, from vaccination to digital payment to digital delivery of services, direct benefit transfer, all these could fructify in a very effective manner because of the Digital India ecosystem which we have laid down in the last five years,” Prasad said.
On data privacy, Prasad said, “I want India to become a big centre of data economy.” India has a huge potential to become a data refinery. Therefore, data economy must prosper in India by developing a complete ecosystem in that regarding and working towards that, he added.
On WhatApp, Prasad said, “Be it WhatsApp or any other digital platform, you are free to do business in India but do it in a manner without in bringing upon the rights of Indians who operate and sanctity of personal communication needs to be maintained”
On 5G, the Minister urged Indian players to create an Indian 5G model. “As far as 5G is concerned, 5G is still evolving. We missed 2G and 3G but we don’t want to miss 5G. Therefore, we developed an Indian test bed, and IITs are involved, so that all innovative aspects of 5G can be considered. He urged Indian players to contribute to 5G which is made in India. “Indian players must be proactive in creating an Indian 5G model. 5G must be developed in order to enable inclusive character of its processes for healthcare, education, farming. India’s appetite for 5G will be overpowering as a good commercial enterprise, he said.