Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship addressed US- India Strategic Partnership Forum’s 4th Annual Leadership Summit on Thursday. The Summit, organized under the leadership of John Chambers, Chairman, USISPF and Dr. Mukesh Aghi, CEO & President, USISPF touched upon resilience in the face of adversity and strengthening the US-India strategic partnership through trade, commerce, diplomacy, technology and healthcare in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the virtual summit, Chandrasekhar, apprised about the impact of COVID-19 on overall digital ecosystem in India. “One of the sectors that has grown at a galloping pace in the Indian economy is the tech space. Apart from the short-term setback during the first two quarters of the pandemic, the tech space has really taken off, and for a lot of people, there has been a reset of ambitions and plenty of people now see it as a world full of opportunities”, he said in his opening remarks. He also spoke about the Prime Minister’s vision on Digital India which clearly lays down that a) Technology has to be deployed in a way that it transforms & improves the lives of People b) Technology has to Quantitatively expand & Qualitatively improve the Economy c) Technology has to expand opportunities for Entrepreneurship, Jobs & Livelihood d) India has to attain leadership in some or all aspects of the emerging force – ‘Internet’
The Minister credited the Digital India Programme for helping the Government reach out to the remotest parts of the country during the pandemic. “The resilience and the robustness at which the economy has bounced back, a lot of that has to do with the early investment that the Prime Minister made in Digital India in the earliest years of his administration and embedding technology into governance”, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar. During the meeting, Chandrasekhar also talked about Geo-Politics, ICT Trade, Data Governance and Cross-Border Data Flows. Rajeev Chandrasekhar highlighted the importance of collaboration in regulatory issues regarding new technologies, open internet, collaboration and data sharing among nations, in conversation with Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, Youtube and SVP Google.
Expanding into the need for collaboration between countries, the Minister highlighted that “the future of technology cannot be left to some dynamic of entrepreneurs and investors, it has to be driven proactively by four members of the Quad, who have open societies, democracies who can shape the future of technology, future of the internet – one that remains open, safe and trusted, and accountable. At the front and center of the conversation, there is a need for political understanding on the future of technology”. “There is a significant behavioral change among citizens and the Government is catching up gradually. We are really reinventing our model, whether it’s skilling or creativity or producing content. This is a fact that disruption is deep and permanent. And I think this is the new normal that technology is creating new heroes every day, whether they’re unicorns in the tech space or content creators,” he concluded.