India is guiding the “fourth industrial revolution” as government programmes make technology accessible, improve services and encourage startups, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar on Monday.
“India wants to become a chipmaker from a chip taker. Investment is rapidly increasing in India to increase production of semiconductors,” he said at the Digital India Week 2022 where programmes to promote technology and digitisation were launched.
The Digital India programme, started eight years ago, showed how technology can be used for progress. A country that does not adopt modern technology is left behind, as had happened to India in the Third Industrial Revolution. “But today we can proudly say that India is guiding the world in the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0,” said Modi.
The government is skilling, upskilling and reskilling at least 14 lakh people in the next five years and it will support 30 institutions under the Chips-to-Startup Programme. Space, mapping, drones, gaming, and animation are among those that are going to expand.
Services like life certificates, reservations and banking have become accessible and affordable. Under Direct Benefit Transfer, more than Rs 23 lakh crore rupees have been directly transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries, in the last 8 years.
“Due to this technology, Rs 2.23 lakh crore of the country have been saved from falling into the wrong hands,” he said. Digital India has brought the government to the doorsteps and phones of the citizens. Similarly, documents for rural properties are provided using technology. The government is working on digital mapping of rural properties using drones.
Modi said that Digital India had assisted in fighting Covid-19. “We have run the world’s largest and most efficient Covid vaccination and Covid relief program.”
The government transfers thousands of crores of rupees to the bank accounts of crores of women, farmers, and labourers with a single click. With the help of the One Nation One Ration Card, it has ensured free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen.
India’s financial technology (fintech) sector is truly a solution “by the people, of the people, for the people”. At least 40 per cent of digital transactions take place in India, he said.
‘Digital India Bhashini’, a new initiative, will enable easy access to the internet and digital services in Indian languages, including voice-based access, and help the creation of content in Indian languages.
Another programme is Digital India Genesis’ (Gen-next Support for Innovative Startups) is a platform, to discover, support, grow and make successful startups in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India. A total outlay of Rs 750 crore has been envisaged for the scheme.
‘MyScheme’, a service discovery platform, facilitates access to government schemes. The C2S Programme aims to train specialised manpower in semiconductor chip design.