Stakeholders must unite for timely 5G roll-out, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told telecom sector leaders that all stakeholders need to work together to ensure timely roll-out of 5G technology as well as make India a global hub for telecom equipment, design, development and manufacturing.

“The future holds great potential with the rapid technology progress,” said Mr. Modi while addressing a virtual gathering at the inauguration of India Mobile Congress 2020

“We need to work together to ensure the timely roll-out of 5G to leapfrog into the future and empower millions of Indians,” he added.

Mr. Modi also pointed out that with technological upgradation, there was a culture of replacing handsets and gadgets frequently, and asked the industry to look at forming a task force to think of better ways of handling electronic waste.

In his address, Minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad urged innovators and manufacturers to tap the enabling atmosphere in India, stating that while foreign capital and innovation was welcome, safety and security of the nation was also important.

FDI rises 7%

He disclosed that the communication and IT sectors had witnessed a 7% growth in FDI even in midst of the pandemic. “We are not against FDI.

“We are not against foreign innovative mind. They are most welcome. Foreign capital is welcome, foreign innovation is welcome, but we are equally keen that safety and security of the country are also important,” said Mr. Prasad.

He added that digital technology had to be secure so that vested interests and extremists were not able to abuse it.

“We are all open for new technology, new innovation, be it artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning, all have enough opportunity in India,” the Minister said.

Centre for AI

“We are very particular that India should become a big centre for artificial intelligence. But new technology should lead to empowerment of common people,” he added.

“And, most important, AI should not become the monopoly of a few and should not become an instrument of weaponisation,” Mr. Prasad stressed.

He added, “We are also very keen that India must be 5G-ready and for that, test beds have been created, those provisions will also be unfolded further.”

“We want good innovation. Indians have got all the talent.. We are very keen that we must also help in innovation, creation and empowerment of the 5G process with good application of Indian human resources and innovative minds.”

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