Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is using technology as a weapon against poverty, as he virtually inaugurated the 25th Bengaluru Tech Summit on Wednesday morning.
“For a long time, technology was seen as an exclusive domain, only for the 'high and mighty', India has shown how to democratize technology," Modi said.
The mobile and data revolution had helped with the proliferation of smart phones in India, leading to more growth in rural areas over urban cities.
"In India, technology is a force of equality and empowerment," he said citing examples of the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat which users can access online or the vaccination campaign against the Covid-19 virus, which was run over the online Cowin platform. There are also schemes that map land in rural areas using drones, which helps in reducing land disputes, he said.
Government portals also had several online educational courses for students, he said.
"During the pandemic, low data costs helped poor students attend online classes, without which students would have been deprived of education for two whole years. India is using technology as a weapon in the war against poverty," he said, in a pre-recorded message.
Modi, who is currently attending the G-20 summit in Indonesia, spoke virtually.
Modi also cited the GeM portal or the Government e-Marketplace portal, which helps small traders directly tender services to various government departments.
In this way, technology has helped small businesses find big customers and reduced the scope of corruption, he said.
“India is no more a place for red tapes, it is known for red carpet for industries, Modi said, citing improvements in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) reforms, liberations of drone rules, the semi conductor sector, production incentive schemes in various sectors and the rise in ease of doing business.
"Your trust and our tech talent can make things happen... as we lead the world in solving its problems," Modi added.
Modi addedtalent pool has helped the country jump to the 40th position on the Global Innovation Index, where India earlier ranked 81 in 2015, Modi added.
He said that the number of unicorn startups in the country has also doubled due to India's talent pool.
Describing Bengaluru as the "home of technology", he said that the city was "number one on India's Innovation Index" and that "it is an inclusive and innovative city."
Bengaluru Tech Summit is being organised by the Department of Electronics, IT, Bt, S&T, Government of Karnataka along with Software Technology Parks of India.
The central theme of the summit is 'Tech4NexGen' and it will focus on electronics, IT, deep tech, biotech, and startups.