Wednesday April 8, 2020
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Digital India to transform the way India will live, work: Modi

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San Jose: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US tech greats that his government’s vision of Digital India was an enterprise to transform India on a scale “perhaps, unmatched in human history” that would touch the lives of those living in the farthest corners of the country and also change the way the nation “will live and work”.

photo credit: ndtv.com
photo credit: ndtv.com

 

In his speech at the Digital India dinner here, Modi recounted the way technology was helping make connectivity easier, with the internet, mobile phone and Skype touching the lives not only of farmers, villagers and those living in cities but also connecting doctors in India with hospitals in other countries.

“Today, technology is advancing citizen empowerment and democracy that once drew their strength from Constitutions. Technology is forcing governments to deal with massive volume of data and generate responses, not in 24 hours but in 24 minutes,” he said.

He said with Digital India, the government will “transform governance, making it more transparent, accountable, accessible and participative.”

“I spoke of e-Governance as a foundation of better governance – efficient, economical and effective. I now speak of m-governance or mobile governance. That is the way to go in a country with one billion cell phones and use of smart phones growing at high double digit rates.”

Modi said: “Since my government came to office, we attacked poverty by using power of networks and mobile phones to launch a new era of empowerment.”

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

Modi said the government wanted paperless transactions and announced plans to set up a “digital locker for every citizen to store personal documents that can be shared across departments”.

He said the e-biz portal set-up was aimed to make approvals for businesses and citizens easy and efficient.

“The government”, he said, “is using technology to impart scale and speed to development and for this there is need to bridge the digital divide and promote digital literacy in the same way as ensuring general literacy.”

Modi said: “We want our 1.25 billion citizens to be digitally connected. We already have broadband usage across India go up by 63 percent last year. We need to accelerate this further.”

He said the government launched an aggressive expansion of the National Optical Fibre Network that would take broadband to 600,000 villages. All schools and colleges would be connected with broadband. “Building I-ways are as important as highways,” he said.

He also announced the setting up of Common Service Centres in villages and towns and that information technology would be used to build smart cities.

Modi said the government wants to turn villages into smart economic hubs and connect farmers better to markets and make them less vulnerable to the whims of weather.

“Access also means that content should be in local languages. In a country with 22 official languages, it is a formidable, but an important task,” he said.

“Affordability of products and services is critical for our success. There are many dimensions to this. We will promote manufacture of quality and affordable products in India. That is part of our vision of Make in India, Digital India and Design in India,” he added.

He said along with promoting connecting the different services, the government would also give the highest importance to data privacy and security, intellectual property rights and cyber security.

Inviting the tech giants, including Google, Microsoft, Adobe and others to participate, Modi said: “So, from creating infrastructure to services, from manufacture of products to human resource development, from support governments to enabling citizens and promoting digital literacy, Digital India is a vast cyber world of opportunities for you.”

“Today, we speak of India-US partnership as a defining partnership of this century. It hinges on two major reasons. Both converge here in California.”

“We all know that the dynamic Asia Pacific Region will shape the course of this century. And, India and the United States, the world’s two largest democracies, are located at the two ends of this region.”

“We have the responsibility to shape a future of peace, stability and prosperity in this region,” Modi said.

(IANS)

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Microsoft Plans To Make All Events “Digital-Only” Till July 2021

"As a company, Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience through July 2021," it read

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Microsoft
As a company, Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience through July 2021. Pixabay

In a strong message for tech giants as new coronavirus continues its unabated growth globally particularly in the US, Microsoft is planning to make all its events – internal as well as external – digital-only till July 2021.

According to a report in The Verge on Tuesday, the online-only focus is now extending to far more events over the next year.

“In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Microsoft has been closely monitoring the developing global situation and re-assessing the overall company-wide in-person event strategy,” the report said, quoting an an internal Microsoft email sent to most valuable professionals (MVPs).

“As a company, Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience through July 2021,” it read.

Microsoft has already announced that ‘Ignite’ which is its final major conference of 2020 in September has been shifted to a digital-only format.

Micorsoft
In a strong message for tech giants as new coronavirus continues its unabated growth globally particularly in the US, Microsoft is planning to make all its events – internal as well as external – digital-only till July 2021. Pixabay

‘Ignite’ is Microsoft’s conference for IT professionals and developers.

Microsoft earlier cancelled its flagship developer conference ‘Build 2020’ in-person, scheduled to take place in the US from May 19-21.

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Microsoft has also cancelled its Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit in Seattle.

The tech giant would now rely on its own digital tools and Microsoft Teams to hold events remotely. (IANS)