India should strive to become hub of software products focus on democratising govt data President Murmu

     New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) After proving its prowess in the field of software, India should strive to become a hub for software products, President Droupadi Murmu said on Saturday.
     While speaking at the 7th edition of Digital India Awards, Murmu said that there should be focus on democratising government data to help technology enthusiasts in the country develop localised digital solutions.
     "We should leverage the prevailing policies and avail the ecosystem to position the country as a global powerhouse of software and hardware products by building made in India technology," Murmu said.
     She said India has emerged as an important country for use of technology for people-centric governance, especially during the pandemic, which has benefitted the rest of the world as well.
     "Digital India is also playing an important role in enhancing the country's profile on the world stage. This becomes all the more relevant as India takes over the presidency of G20 which is a milestone event," Murmu said.
     India formally assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2022.
     She said India has unveiled indigenously developed 5G technology and the roll out of the 5G services will transform governance as well.
     "We should focus on democratising government data so that young technology enthusiasts can use it to build localised digital solutions," Murmu said.
     At the event, the President conferred awards to 22 government entities in the field of digital governance.
     She said the pace of change in the future will be fast, driven by the use of technology and in this context social justice should be the prime objective of digital innovation.
     Murmu said that India will develop into a knowledge economy only when the digital divide is substantially bridged through the use of technology.
     "I am confident that India is setting the right example of ensuring the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society, strengthening economic, social and cultural rights in our journey towards Digital Antyodaya," Murmu said.
     Speaking at the same event, Union IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that India's digital payments progress is setting up a new paradigm.
     He said there will be a huge focus in 2023 on providing access to credit of Rs 3,000-5,000 at easier terms to street and small vendors.
     "Small entrepreneurs, who put up small vegetable shops on the roadside, need a loan of meagre Rs 3,000-4,000. Providing that credit with ease on simple terms to those small vendors will be a huge focus area in 2023," Vaishnaw said.
     The PM Street Vendor's Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (SVANidhi) Scheme was launched in June 2020 as a Micro-Credit facility which aims to empower street vendors to recover losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     Through PM SVANidhi, affordable collateral-free loans are given to street vendors.
     Vaishnaw said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated around Rs 52,000 crore for taking 4G and 5G services across all nooks and corners of the country for digitally connecting every citizen.
     The minister said that the country will see the roll out of indigenously developed 4G and 5G technologies this year.
     He said that very soon the country will witness the setting up of an electronic chip manufacturing plant in the country in line with PM Modi's vision to make India self-reliant in the field of technology.
     Electronics and IT Secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma said as India assumes Presidency of G-20 this year, there is an opportunity to inspire the world, with country's deeply rooted belief in a human-centric approach to technology, and facilitate greater knowledge-sharing in areas, like digital public goods, financial inclusion, and technology-enabled development.
     "Digitization provides perfect tools to deliver seamless benefits to the targeted groups and reinforces our resolve to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. Our shared goal is to enable every individual - to fully participate in social, economic, cultural and developmental activities," Sharma said.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)