Narendra Modi as Prime Minister: What It Means for Indian IT

The results are out and it is confirmed that Narendra Modi would take office as the next Prime Minister of India. The election results are beyond doubt; no alliances to be forged, there’s no loose coalition to be formed, no decision needed from the President……it has been a clean and clear Modi win.

A big part of Narendra Modi’s electoral blitzkrieg was based on smart use of technology. Not only the use of social media, but also the use of appropriate messages about technology and its role in national development have been commendable.

So, what does this mean for Indian IT? Luckily, Dataquest can claim to have the closest sense about Modi’s ideas about IT, based on an exclusive interview with him earlier this year. It has been widely reported that Modi is a big champion of India’s prowess in technology, innovation, e-governance, use of technology in education, and making India the global hub of technology. A few other ideas really stand out and here are his quotes from the interview.

His ideas on cloud and the use of its principles beyond IT is very interesting.

“With a policy driven and result oriented approach, I see no reason why India cannot become the next hub of cloud infrastructure. We would need to think out of the box on whether there are synergies and opportunities to co-locate non-conventional energy projects and massive data centres in areas where there is little scope for agriculture or manufacturing.”

Modi is great proponent of manufacturing and its importance for the nation.

“Another idea that I wish to see bear fruit is the setting up of more hardware manufacturing clusters and parks across India and upgrade localized infrastructure to support local manufacturing of large volume telecom equipment and devices with focus on research.”

Modi understands the importance of the SME sector and he believes that the sector’s growth strategy has to be addressed at the policy level.

“An IT policy must be formulated carefully and holistically. One reform that I am keen to see is to strengthen our MSMEs to make them more competitive and vibrant. After all, MSME sector is the backbone of the IT industry and provides significant employment opportunities.”

Finally, social media and the contentious topic of Internet censorship. Modi’s views are on social media are progressive.

“Be it social media or any other media, I would like to categorically state that I am totally against any form of policing or censorship. Let every shade of opinion shine and grow in our nation. In fact, criticism is also an integral part of our democracy. In 2012 when the Centre unilaterally censored a few handles on social media, I darkened my Twitter display picture in solidarity with the spirit of free speech. To take inspiration from Voltaire, I will say, “We need not have to agree with what everyone is saying but we must defend their right to say it”.

India looks forward to the next phase of growth in IT under Modi’s reign.

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