Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said disruptive technologies such as blockchain and Internet of Things will have a deep impact on the way "we live and work", and "rapid adaptation" at our workplaces will be needed to keep up with them.
Speaking through video conference after inaugurating the 22nd edition of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) here, Modi said, "Disruptive technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a deep impact in the way we live and work. "We will require rapid adaptation in our workplaces. Skilling citizens for the workforce of future is important. In India we have launched the National Skill Development Mission to prepare our children and youth for productive and bright future. We also need to ensure that our existing workforce is able to re-skill as new technologies emerge," the prime minister said.
The robot 'Sophia', one of the 'speakers' at the conference, shows the potential of new technologies, he said. "We need to reflect on the changing nature of jobs in the emerging age of intelligent automation," Modi said.
"The WCIT is being organised for the first time in the country and I am sure it shall be of mutual benefit to investors, innovators, think tanks and other stakeholders from across the world," he said.
The prime minister also complimented software industry body Nasscom for identifying eight key technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, virtual reality and Big Data analytics, and 55 job roles that would be in high demand in globally. "I am sure the skills of the future platform will greatly help India maintain its competitive edge," he said.
Digital technology is now at the heart of every business, and "how can we prepare our millions of small and medium businesses for this transformation in a short time" is a key issue, he said.
"We believe our start-ups are the key to finding viable and economical solutions across sectors and verticals," the prime minister said while highlighting the Startup India initiative. The concept of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' reflects our inclusive tradition, and in the 21st century, technology is becoming an enabler for this concept, helping to create a seamlessly integrated world, Modi said.
With over 1 lakh villages linked with optical fibre, 1.2 billion Aadhaar card-holders and 500 million Internet users, India is the best place to leverage the power of technology and leap forward into the future, he said.
"Digital India is a journey bringing about digital inclusion for digital empowerment aided by digital infrastructure for digital delivery of services," he said. "Leveraging the technology in such a holistic manner was unthinkable some years ago. We have successfully completed this lifecycle in last three-and-half-years. This has been possible through change in public behaviour and processes. "Digital India has not remained merely a government initiative but has become a way of life. Technology has become inseparable part of people's lives. While most government initiatives depend on government push, Digital India is succeeding because of people's pull," Modi said.
Linking 320 million Jan Dhan bank accounts of the poor with Aadhaar and mobile numbers to provide direct benefits of welfare measures has saved Rs 57,000 crore, he noted. To ensure digital literacy, the government has initiated the Pradhan Mantri Rural Digital Literacy Mission to make 60 million adults digitally literate in rural India, and 10 million people have already been trained under the scheme, he said.
Today, India is the hot-spot of digital innovation across all sectors, Modi said. "We not only possess a growing number of innovative entrepreneurs, but also a growing market for tech innovation. We were and we remain one of the most tech friendly populations in the world," he said.