digital technologies and Direct Benefit Transfers into the accounts of beneficiaries have helped save India Rs 2.23 lakh crore from going into the hands of middlemen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
Modi was addressing the inaugural session of the Digital India Week in Gandhinagar.
Though India was left behind during the third industrial revolution, it was guiding the world in the fourth industrial revolution, he said.
“With the passage of time, the country that does not adopt modern technology, time moves ahead leaving it behind. India was a victim of this during the Third Industrial Revolution. But today we can proudly say that India is guiding the world in the fourth industrial revolution,” Modi said.
Lauding the Digital India program’s role in expanding services provided online, the prime minister said it was the perfect example of how technology could be revolutionary in transforming the lives of ordinary people.
“Everything from birth certificates to life certificates for senior citizens is online. All these works took days and now can be done in moments. There is an excellent infrastructure for digital governance in the country today,” he said.
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The prime minister also launched a slew of new initiatives under the Digital India program, including announcing the first batch of 30 institutions to be supported under the Chips to Startup (C2S) program.
Commenting on the fintech progress in the country, Modi said that the solution was “by the people, of the people, for the people”.
“UPI has been appreciated the world over, including the World Bank. The technology is by the people, it has been made a part of the people’s lives, which is of the people, and it has made people’s lives easier, which therefore is for the people,” he said.
Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnav and Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar also addressed the inaugural session.
Vaishnav said India today had more than 100 unicorns, compared to 2014 when there were less than 10.
“Eight years ago, electronics manufacturing in the country was almost negligible. Today, it is a $75 billion industry, which is roughly a Rs 6 lakh crore industry, employing 25 lakh people in high-quality jobs,” he said.
Chandrasekhar said that the transformation of India from a technology consumer to a technology producer for the world had become the new identity for the country.
“In the last two years, Digital India has contributed a lot to the resilient fight put up by India against the Covid-19 pandemic. The coming decade should be ‘India’s techade’. Today every corner in the country has the startup spirit and it is being catalyzed everywhere,” he said.