Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said internet provided a level playing field to the less privileged and detailed how his government had utilised digital space for efficient service delivery and governance and to plug leakages. However, Modi cautioned that digital space should not become a playground for dark forces of terrorism and radicalisation. Speaking at the inauguration of the Global Conference on Cyber Space, Modi called for training of “capable professional cyber warriors who would remain alert against cyber-attacks.” He said the term — hacking — might have acquired a certain glamour, but there was a need to ensure that cyber protection became an attractive and viable career option for the youth. Modi said the story of hacking and defacement of websites was the proverbial tip of the iceberg. He said cyber attacks were a significant threat to the democratic world. “We need to ensure that vulnerable sections of the society do not fall prey to cyber criminals,” he said, calling for constant alertness to become a way of life. Modi said digital technology had emerged as a great enabler and a tool for efficient service delivery and governance. From education to health, he said, digital technology was improving access to domains and helping shape the future of business and economy. Further, Modi said, it helps provide a level-playing field in a less privileged society, and on a macro scale, it has contributed to “the emergence of a flat world” where developing nations like India can compete with developed nations. Modi said technology breaks barriers and typifies ancient Indian inclusive tradition of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, or 'the world is one family'. He said, “We in India give primacy to the human face of technology, and are using it to improve ease of living.” Modi said empowerment through digital access is an objective that the Government of India is especially committed to and ‘Digital India’ is the world’s largest transformative programme.
Modi said his government is using ‘mobile power’, or ‘m-power’, to empower citizens.The PM spoke at some length about his government’s initiatives, including the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan accounts, Mobile numbers and Aadhar cards) for better targeting of services and how it has prevented leakages to the tune of $10 million. He said digital technology has become a great facilitator for 'ease of living'. Modi said digital technology is helping farmers increase their income. Farmers can access soil testing results, seek expert advice and a good price for their produce at the click of a button, or a small entrepreneur can register on a government e-marketplace and bid competitively for the supply of goods for the government. The PM spoke about his government’s efforts at encouraging a less cash society with the BHIM App, the use of the MyGov platform for participative governance and of PRAGATI, where he holds meetings with senior centre and state governments bureaucrats via video conference, for cutting red tape to make government departments break out of their silos for faster decision making. Modi invited the global investor community to invest in Indian start-ups “and be part of the unfolding story of start-ups” in India. He said internet by its inherent nature is inclusive and not exclusive. The Internet offers equity of access and equality of opportunity. He said the current discourse in the world is being shaped by Facebookers, Tweeples, and Instagrammers.