For a long time, technology was seen as an exclusive domain. It was said to be only for the high and mighty, but India has shown how to democratise technology, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday while addressing the Bengaluru tech summit through video conferencing.
India is using technology as a weapon in the war against poverty, he added.
Citing an example, the Prime Minister said that under the Svamitva scheme, "we are using drones to map lands in rural areas. Then, property cards are given to the people. This reduces land disputes. It also helps the poor to access financial services and credit. During COVID-19, many countries were struggling with a problem. They knew people needed help. They knew benefit transfers would help. But they did not have the infrastructure to take the benefits to people. But India showed how technology could be a force for the good. Our Jan Dhan Aadhar Mobile Trinity gave us the power to directly transfer benefits".
Modi further added that India has also shown how to give technology a human touch. "In India, technology is a force of equality and empowerment. The world's largest health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat provides a safety net for nearly 200 million families. It means, about 600 million people! This programme is run based on a tech platform. India ran the world's largest COVID-19 vaccine drive," he informed.
The Prime Minister informed that India has one of the largest online repositories of open courses. There are thousands of courses available across different subjects. Over 10 million successful certifications have happened.
This, he added, is all done online and free. "Our data tariffs are among the lowest in the world. During COVID-19, low data costs helped poor students to attend online classes. Without this, two precious years would have been lost for them," Modi further said.
Highlighting the potential of Indian youth, the prime minister said, "We are using our talent for global good. Even in India, their impact is being seen. India jumped to the 40th rank in the Global Innovation Index this year. In 2015, we were ranked 81! The number of unicorn start-ups in India has doubled since 2021! We are now the 3rd largest start-up hub in the world. We have over 81,000 recognised startups."