A very good morning to each and every one of you.
In four short years, the Indian Mobile Congress has grown enormously in prestige and impact.
It has already earned a proud place in the annual calendar of global conversations on digital technologies.
This is because of India’s two unique strengths, which the world has now fully recognised.
One is the confluence of three D’s —
India’s Vibrant DEMOCRACY, India’s Young DEMOGRAPHY and India’s DIGITAL Transformation.
The other is the visionary and dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.
Respected Pradhan Mantri ji,
Your Digital India Mission has made our country highly resilient in the face of the toughest of adversities.
The outbreak of COVID-19 posed life-threatening challenges.
But our high-speed 4G connectivity infrastructure has proved to be India’s DIGITAL LIFELINE.
Throughout 2020, India worked online, studied online, shopped online, received healthcare online, socialised online, played online…
Simply put, India thrived online.
This underscores the phenomenal evolution of Digital Technology in India.
From being a means of limited engagement and entertainment, it has evolved into a platform of unlimited enablement and empowerment.
Despite the lockdown, the entire industry consisting of thousands of engineers and employees worked round the clock to provide critical support 24X7 to all sections of the society and business.
The Government supported the industry to go the extra-mile in keeping the services going during this period.
They deserve our appreciation and gratitude.
Honourable Prime Minister,
With great admiration and enthusiasm, the nation has welcomed your announcement about the early availability of affordable COVID vaccine.
The pandemic will be surely behind us soon in 2021.
Under your leadership, India will welcome the new decade with supreme confidence.
The Indian economy will not only bounce back, but will also grow with unprecedented acceleration.
India can — and India will — prove cynics wrong by becoming a $5 trillion economy.
It will be a More Equal India…
… with increased incomes, increased employment, and improved quality of life for 1 billion Indians at the Middle and Bottom of the Economic Pyramid.
India has the historic opportunity to become the world’s pre-eminent DIGITAL SOCIETY with Ease of Living for all.
My conviction comes from the enormous transformative power of the Digital Technologies.
Permit me, therefore, to briefly present four ideas for your consideration.
ONE: As many as 300 million mobile subscribers in India are still trapped in the 2G era.
Urgent policy steps are needed to ensure that these underprivileged people have an affordable smartphone,
So that they too can benefit from Direct Benefit Transfer into their bank accounts, and actively participate in the Digital Economy.
TWO: India is today among the best digitally connected nations in the world.
In order to maintain this lead, policy steps are needed to accelerate early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere.
I assure you that JIO will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021.
It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components.
JIO’s 5G service will be a testimony to your inspiring vision of ATMA-NIRBHAR BHARAT.
THREE: I can say with utmost confidence that 5G will enable India to not only participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution but also to lead it.
Jio Platforms, with its family of over 20 start-up partners, has built world-class capabilities in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc.
We are creating compelling home-grown solutions in Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Financial Services and New Commerce.
Each of these solutions, once proven in India, will be offered to the rest of the world to address global challenges.
FOUR: As the digitalisation of the Indian economy and Indian society picks up speed, the demand for digital hardware will grow enormously.
We cannot rely on large-scale imports in this area of critical national need.
Thanks to Shri Ravi Shankar ji’s focused efforts, many leading Global companies are coming to India to set up manufacturing facilities.
India has developed world-class strengths in chip design.
I clearly foresee India becoming a major hub for state-of-the-art semiconductor industry.
When all the stakeholders work together, we can surely ensure that India’s success in hardware will match our success in software.
We are about to step into a glorious decade of the India story, with the Digital India Mission playing the role of the principal accelerator.
Nothing can stop India’s rise, not even COVID-19.
This is our chance to create history.
Let’s do it!
Let’s do it together, under the leadership of our Prime Minister!
I wish all of you the best of health and a HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance.