India is adaptable, agile even during pandemic: PM Modi at fifth edition of VivaTech
New Delhi, June 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday delevered the keynote address at the fifth edition of 'VivaTech'. This event is one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, and it is held in Paris every year since 2016, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) noted.
The event is jointly organised by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos,a leading French media group.
In the keynote adress PM Modi said, "India and France have been working closely on a wide range of subjects. Among these, technology and digital are emerging areas of cooperation. I believe - Where convention fails, innovation can help. This has been seen during the COVID-19 global pandemic, which is the biggest disruption of our age."
The Prime Minister praised the role of the start-up sector in meeting the challenge of the pandemic. The private sector played a key role in addressing the shortage of PPE kits, masks, testing kits etc. Doctors adopted tele-medicine in a big way so that some COVID and other non-COVID issues could be addressed virtually.
Two vaccines are being made in India and more are in the development or trial stage. The Prime minister indicated that indigenous IT platform, Arogya-Setu enabled effective contact tracing. The COWIN digital platform has already helped ensure vaccines to millions.
The Prime Minister also said that COVID-19 put many conventional methods to test. "However, it was innovation that came to the rescue. By innovation I refer to: Innovation before the pandemic. Innovation during the pandemic," he added.
"When I speak about innovation before the pandemic, I refer to the pre-existing advances which helped us during the pandemic. Digital technology helped us cope, connect, comfort and console. Through digital media we could work, talk with our loved ones and help others," PM Modi further added.
"India's strides in the world of tech and start-up are well-known. Our nation is home to one of the world's largest start-up eco systems. Several unicorns have come up in the recent years," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that over the past year, it has seen a lot of disruption in different sectors.
"We in India implemented huge reforms across sectors, be it mining, space, banking, atomic energy and more. This goes on to show that India as a nation is adaptable and agile, even in the middle of the pandemic," he added.The Prime Minister also stressed the need for insulating our planet against the next pandemic. Ensuring we focus on sustainable life-styles that stop ecological degradation. Strengthening cooperation in furthering research as well as innovation.
The Prime Minister called upon the start-up community to take the lead in working with collective spirit and a human centric approach to overcome this challenge.
"The start-up space is dominated by youngsters. These are people free from the baggage of the past. They are best placed to power global transformation. Our start-ups must explore areas such as: Healthcare. Eco-friendly technology including waste recycling, Agriculture, new age tools of learning", said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister emphasized that France and Europe are among India's key partners. Referring to his conversations with President Macron, in summit with EU leaders in Porto in May, The Prime Minister said that digital partnership, from start-ups to quantum computing, emerged as a key priority.
"History has shown that leadership in new technology drives economic strength, jobs and prosperity. But, our partnerships must also serve a larger purpose, in service of humanity. This pandemic is not only a test of our resilience, but also of our imagination It is a chance to build a more inclusive, caring and sustainable future for all," concluded the Prime Minister.