Making a strong pitch for inclusive development through technology in India, the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
set the agenda for the technology sector by coining the term ‘Three ITs’
Addressing the Nasscom
Leadership Forum through video conferencing in Mumbai on Friday, Modi stressed on reducing the digital divide in India.
“India’s Talent plus Information Technology is equal to India Tomorrow,” he said drawing spontaneous applause from the audience. There is a need to bring down the digital divide in the country, he added. “We can’t have two Indias, one racing ahead and another moving on reverse gear. This will add to our problems.”
This is Modi’s third interaction with the technology industry in the past couple of months. Recently, he had held a closed-door meeting with a select group of technology chiefs who apprised him of the major challenges facing the sector. Modi had asked them to prepare a white-paper with all their concerns, which could be considered for the party’s election manifesto. He also articulated the need for strong broadband connectivity in the country, digital literacy and e-governance.
“I see the role of IT as an agent of change. It empowers, connects and can bind different parts of India and create harmony.” NASSCOM should engage actively for the IT revolution in the country, Modi said on Friday.
While the country should try to move towards reducing the digital divide, Modi said it is important to keep in mind the security aspect.
“Cyber security is an important aspect and should not be overlooked. Equipping roads, banks and cities with cameras would also lead some about of reduction in digital gap in the country and so should be taken up,” he said.
Krishnakumar Natarajan, chief of MindTree and chairman of Nasscom, called Modi’s speech “powerful, impactful and simple”. Natarajan said Modi has set the agenda for the technology industry and it is too early to expect him to deal with individual issues currently. “The best part was that the speech did not have any political overtones to it.”
Stressing on the need of digitisation, Modi said: “E-governance is easy, effective and economic governance. It is a very useful field that can solve the problems of people. It can bring minimum government and maximum governance.”
Modi also stressed on the importance of social media and how it has inspired him. “I can connect with so many of you through social media. Social media can be effectively used in involving people in policy and decision making.”
He added: "I am personally a great advocate of technology. IT can and will transform our lives. The sooner we adopt IT, the better; the sooner we deploy it, the better; and, the sooner we master it, the better.”