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India building world’s most extensive public information infrastructure: Modi

Modi was delivering virtually the keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue

narendra modi PM Narendra Modi speaking at The Sydney Dialogue | Via Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday declared India was building the world's most extensive public information infrastructure.

Modi was delivering virtually the keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue, an event organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Modi was speaking on the theme of India's technology evolution and revolution.

Modi said major technology transitions were taking place in India. “We're on our way to connecting 600,00 villages; [we] used technology to deliver over 1.1 billion doses of vaccines across India using COWIN and Aarogya Setu,” Modi was quoted as saying by ANI. He declared, “We are transforming people's lives by using digital technology for governance including empowerment, connectivity, delivery of benefits and welfare.”

Emphasising India's commitment to multilateralism, Modi said, “As a democracy and digital leader, India is ready to work with partners for our shared prosperity and security. India's digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography and the scale of our economy. It's powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth.”

Modi said India had the world's fastest-growing technology ecosystem. “New unicorns are coming up every few weeks to provide solutions to everything from health to national security. There is a large effort to prepare India for the future. We are investing in developing indigenous capability in telecom technology such as 5G and 6G; India is one of the leading nations in artificial intelligence,” Modi said.

Referring to other spheres of technology, Modi said, “We're building world-class capabilities in quantum computing. Our space programme is a vital part of our economy and security. It is now open to innovation and investment for the private sector.”

Highlighting the ubiquitous nature of technology, Modi noted, “We are in a time of change that happens once in an era. The digital age is changing everything around us. It has redefined politics, economy and society. It is raising new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, law, rights and security. It is reshaping international competition, power and leadership. It has ushered in a new era of opportunities for progress and prosperity. But, we also face new risks and new forms of conflicts across diverse threats from seabed to cyber to space.”

Modi warned technology and data were becoming “new weapons”. He pointed to the example of cryptocurrency. “It is important that all democratic nations work together on this [cryptocurrency] and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth,” Modi said.

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