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Modi in Silicon Valley: PM bats for India’s digital transformation, promises transparent governance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the digital age, there was an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago.


Modi in Silicon Valley: PM bats for India’s digital transformation, promises transparent governance
Pic courtesy: @MEAIndia

Silicon Valley: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that in the digital age, there was an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago.

He also said that he saw technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity.

"In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago," the Prime Minister said.

"Digital India is an enterprise for India's transformation on a scale that is, perhaps, unmatched in human history," PM Modi also said while speaking about his ambitious Digital India initiative before a gathering of Silicon Valley CEOs.

"I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity," he added.

At the same time the PM observed that the pace at which people were taking to digital technology defies stereotypes of age, education, language and income.

Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Silicon Valley in more than three decades, said his government wants paperless transactions.

"We would set up digital locker for every citizens to share documents across departments," he said.

"After MyGov.In, we have just launched the Narendra Modi Mobile App. They are helping me stay in close touch with people," he said amidst applause from the audience, as per PTI.

"I want our 1.25 billion citizens to be digitally connected," Modi said, describing the steps taken by his government towards broadband connectivity.

"We must ensure that technology is accessible, affordable and adds value," he said, adding that his government is giving highest priority to cyber security, intellectual property.

Recognising that a Digital India could not be built without bridging the digital divide, he listed out the measures taken by his government to bridge this digital divide.

"From large corporates to young professionals in this great centre of innovation, each can be part of India story," he said.

"Building upon that vision, we conceive of Digital India, to fundamentally transform the way our nation will work," the Prime Minister said.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs were among those present at the event.

Earlier, a host of tech leaders said they were upbeat on engaging with India better.

"India under the prime minister's leadership is moving in the right direction with 'Digital India'," Jacobs said, announcing an immediate investment of $1.5 million for innovation labs in the country to support product designing.

"Now it is time for us to collectively empower people from all over the world," Nadella said, adding that Micosoft intended to partner individual states, and tech companies in this regard, as per IANS.

Nadella gave the example of Surat where Microsoft was working with municipalities on data analytic systems.

"Inspiring discussion with PM Narendra Modi on how tech is a powerful tool to enable human ingenuity," Nadella posted on Twitter.

Later the PM tweeted - “At Digital India dinner we could see a perfect picture of India-USA partnership in the digital economy. This will benefit the entire world.”

“Highlighted steps taken by the government to mitigate poverty through technology & how technology is transforming lives of 1.25 billion Indians,” he said in another post.

Before this, PM Modi, on a 36 hour whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley to give a strong push to his drive for technological innovation in India, visited the Tesla Motors plant to see the path-breaking inventions on renewable energy.

Tesla Motors' iconic CEO Elon Musk gave PM Modi a tour of the company's trend-setting electric car plant in Palo Alto.

"Prime Minister Modi and I talked about electricity generation and how there are ways to skip ahead with it as with cellphones," Musk, the company's principal engineer, inventor and investor, said later.

 During the meeting, Musk gave a presentation to PM Modi on the revolutionary technologies being developed by Tesla, which is likely to change the face of the motor industry and have wider implications on developing countries like India on renewable energy.

The PM also met Apple CEO Tim Cook.

 Cook, who met Modi at his hotel, was among the first top CEOs to meet the PM on the first day of his arrival.

"We have a unique tie with India. Our founder Steve Jobs went to India for inspiration," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup quoted Cook as saying.

(With Agency inputs)

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