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PM Modi delivers keynote at Sydney Dialogue, speaks on India’s technology evolution and revolution

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New Delhi, Nov 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday delivered the keynote at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue via video conference where he spoke on the theme of India's technology evolution and revolution. The address was preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

PM Modi delivers keynote at Sydney Dialogue, speaks on India’s technology evolution and revolution

Biggest Strength of Democracy is Openness
The PM noted recognition for India's central role in the Indo Pacific region and in the emerging digital world. Noting the benefits of the digital age, the Prime Minister also said that the world also faces new risks and new forms of conflicts across diverse threats from sea-bed to cyber to space. "The biggest strength of democracy is openness. At the same time, we should not allow a few vested interests to misuse this openness", Modi said.

The Prime Minister claimed that India was willing India is ready to work with partners for shared prosperity and security as a democracy and a digital leader. "India's digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography, and the scale of our economy. It is powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth. We are turning the challenges of the past into an opportunity to take a leap into the future"

5 Important Transitions Taking Place in India
Listing out five important transitions taking place in India, Modi claimed, "One, we are building the world's most extensive public information infrastructure. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity. We are on our way to connect six hundred thousand villages with broadband. We have built the world's most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI. Over 800 million Indians use the internet; 750 million are on smartphones. We are one of the largest consumers of data per capita and have one of the cheapest data in the world. Two, we are transforming the lives of the people by using digital technology for governance, inclusion, empowerment, connectivity, delivery of benefits and welfare.

Everyone has heard of India's financial inclusion, banking and digital payment revolution. Recently, we have used technology to deliver over 1.1 billion doses of vaccines, across India's vast geography using ArogyaSetu and Cowin platforms. We are also building a National Digital Health Mission for affordable and universal healthcare for our billion-plus people. Our One Nation, One Card will deliver benefits to the hundreds of millions of workers anywhere in the country. Three, India has the world's third-largest and fastest-growing Startup Ecosystem. New unicorns are coming up every few weeks. They are providing solutions to everything from health and education to national security.

The PM claimed that industries, service sectors and agriculture are undergoing digital transformation. Modi said, "We are also using digital technology for clean energy transition, conversion of resources and protection of biodiversity. Five, there is a large effort to prepare India for the future. We are investing in developing indigenous capabilities in telecom technology such as 5G and 6G. India is one of the leading nations in artificial intelligence and machine learning, especially in the human-centred and ethical use of artificial intelligence. We are developing strong capabilities in Cloud platforms and cloud computing. This is key to resilience and digital sovereignty. We are building world-class capabilities in quantum computing."

He highlighted that India's Space programme is a vital part of the economy and security. "It is now open to innovation and investment from the private sector. India is already a major centre for providing cyber security solutions and services to corporates around the world. We have set up a Task Force with our industry to make India a global hub for cyber security. We have the benefit of our skills and global trust. And now, we are focusing on hardware. We are preparing a package of incentives to become a key manufacturer of semi-conductors. Our production linked incentive schemes in electronics and telecom are already attracting local and global players to set up base in India," he further stated.

India's Contribution
Modi spoke about India's contribution in coping with the Y2K problem and the country's open source CoWin platform to the world. "India's democratic traditions are old; its modern institutions are strong. And, we have always believed in the world as one family", he said.

The PM stated that India's extensive experience with the use of technology and policy for the public good, inclusive development and social empowerment can be of great help to the developing world. "We can work together to empower nations and their people, and prepare them for the opportunities of this century", he remarked.

A Roadmap for Democracies to Work Together
Modi called for a collaborative framework "to invest together in research and development in future technology; To develop trusted manufacturing base and trusted supply chains; To deepen intelligence and operational cooperation on cyber security, protect critical information infrastructure; To prevent manipulation of public opinions; To develop technical and governance standards and norms consistent with our democratic values; and, To create standards and norms for data governance and for cross-border flow that protect and secure data." He said the emerging framework "should also recognise national rights and, at the same time, promote trade, investment and larger public good".

In this context, Narendra Modi cited the example of crypto-currency and said "It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth".

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