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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
14-June-2019 20:09 IST
Use technology to improve governance and timely delivery of services to citizens: Vice President

Digitization ensures transparency, builds confidence among investors; Channelize the energy of young minds to make India the next economic power; Tap the potential of technology to improve ease of business & enhance ease of living and happiness quotient; Inaugurates DigiTech Conclave 2019; launches ET Government Portal

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for adopting digital technology to improve governance and timely delivery of services to citizens.

 

Speaking at the inaugural edition of DigiTech Conclave 2019 of The Times Group after launching ET Government portal, in New Delhi today, the Vice President said that technology has been a game changer and was progressively helping in eliminating corruption, ensuring transparency and improving the delivery of services in several areas like healthcare, land registrations, transport, tax collection and urban planning.

 

Citing an instance, Shri Naidu said that adopting digital technology helped the elimination of bogus ration cards and resulted in a saving of Rs.6,000 crore in one State. He expressed confidence that ET Government Portal would go a long way in spreading awareness about the transformative potential of digital technology and also in making governance system more accessible to citizens.

 

Quoting to a recent study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, the Vice President said that India was the second fastest digitizing economy after Indonesia. He said that digitization has the potential not only to boost core sectors like IT, digital communication, and online retail but also transform financial services, agriculture, logistics and education.

 

Pointing out that India was digitally more connected today than before, Shri Naidu said that digitization could contribute to inclusive development in more ways than one. ‘We have to make this digital delivery and online public interface more universal and more effective,’ he added.

 

Opining that Information Technology sector could greatly contribute to economic prosperity by generating better means of employment, the Vice President said that he was glad that the government was also steering the BPO movement to smaller towns to create employment opportunities and promote the IT-ITeS industry to ensure a balanced regional growth.

 

Shri Naidu also called upon education institutes, the corporate sector, NGOs as also of the Centre and various State governments to impart the necessary skills to our youth, to channelize the energy of these young minds to make India the next economic power. He said that digitization was an important driver of growth as it ensures transparency and builds confidence among investors.

 

Saying that India has always been at the forefront of leveraging technology for development, the Vice President said that investments made by major global tech firms and setting up of their biggest research centers in India was an indication of global recognition of India’s prowess in technology.

 

The Vice President stressed the need to harness the untapped potential of technology to not only improve the ‘ease of business’­ but also utilize its power to enhance people’s ‘ease of living’ and the “happiness quotient”.

 

The Editor, ET Government, Shri T.K. Arun and several other dignitaries attended the event.

 

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

 

"I am delighted to participate in the launch of ET Government portal and the inaugural edition of DigiTech Conclave 2019 of The Times Group.

 

I am glad that ET Government portal is being launched today.

 

Technology has become so ubiquitous today that no aspect of our daily life is untouched by it. The way we live, learn and work is changing at an unprecedented pace and in unpredictable directions.

 

Governance and management of programmes as well as delivery of services to the citizens are also swiftly getting transformed. The processes are getting more citizen-centric and citizen-friendly. Technology has been a game-changer and is progressively helping in eliminating corruption, ensuring transparency and improving delivery of services in several areas like healthcare, land registrations, transport, tax collection and urban planning.

 

When I was the Minister for Urban Development, I suggested that we tap into the unrealised potential of technologies in implementing the Smart Cities initiative. Similarly, Digital India, Make in India and Start up India, among others, are examples of the Government’s effort to advance technology-led governance reform initiatives.

 

I am glad to know that this conference is focusing on digital technology and is being supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Government of Telangana and Government of Uttar Pradesh along with other organisations. The ET Government Portal will also go a long way in spreading awareness about the transformative potential of digital technology and making governance system more accessible to all citizens.

 

Dear sisters and brothers,

 

India has always been at the forefront of leveraging technology for development and governance. From being a software services hub, we are now becoming the research hub. Recognising India’s core competence, many global tech firms have established some of their biggest research centres in India.

 

Indian government is making rapid progress towards improving the economy and ensuring a general level of prosperity in tune with the philosophy of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.

 

By creating a conducive environment and adopting right policies and regulations, India is now making pioneering efforts to improve the infrastructure needed for development with a citizen-centric approach. This is evident from the fact that over the past few years, there has been a huge growth in a more effective technology-mediated citizen services delivery.

 

Dear friends,

 

India is more digitally connected today than ever before. Undoubtedly, digitization is ensuring speedy delivery of services, apart from transforming the banking and financial sectors. It is contributing to inclusive development in more ways than one.

 

The JAM trinity- Jandhan, AADHAAR and Mobile is enabling timely delivery of services and disbursal of benefits directly to the accounts of the targeted recipients. We have to make this digital delivery and online public interface more universal and more effective.

 

A recent study of 17 mature and emerging economies, including the US, UK, China, and Brazil conducted by McKinsey Global Institute has found that India is the second fastest digitizing economy after Indonesia.

 

The fast-growing digitization of the Indian economy has the potential to not only boost core sectors like IT, digital communication, and online retail but also transform several other areas of the economy — financial services, agriculture, logistics and education.

 

Digitization is an important driver of growth. It ensures transparency and builds confidence among investors.

 

The Digital India Programme of the Government aims to transform India into a knowledge-based economy and digitally empowered society by ensuring digital access, digital inclusion, digital empowerment and bridging the digital divide.

 

Through Aadhaar, the Government has provided digital identity to 122.9 crore residents of the country with 99% coverage of the adult population as on 30th November 2018.

 

Similarly, India’s unique payment systems such as BHIM-UPI and BHIM-Aadhaar are getting recognized globally. Over the past four years, digital payment transactions have grown multi-fold from 316 crore transactions in 2014-15 to 2071 crore transactions in 2017-18.

 

I am also glad that the government is also steering the BPO movement to smaller towns to create employment opportunities and promote the IT-ITeS industry to ensure a balanced regional growth.

 

I have been told that under India BPO Promotion Scheme, 45, 840 seats were allocated to 163 companies, resulting in setting up of 240 units across 110 locations of 20 States & 2 UTs.

 

BPOs are promoting local entrepreneurs and employment to women and differently-abled. BPOs have started operations at several locations, including, Bhaderwah, Budgam, Jammu, Sopore and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, Guwahati, Kohima, Imphal in North-Eastern region, Baddi and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Patna and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Jaleshwar in Odisha.

 

Dear sisters and brothers,

 

Information Technology sector can greatly contribute to economic prosperity by generating better means of employment. Such technologies can also enrich people's lives by providing greater choice and by supporting social, welfare and cultural activities.

 

More than 60% of our population is under the age of 30 years. We need to channelize the energy of these young minds to make India the next economic power. For achieving that, we have to impart the necessary skills to our youth. In this endeavour, the role of the education institutes, the corporate sector, NGOs as also of the Centre and various State governments becomes critical.

 

Dear sisters and brothers,

 

India has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

 

The World Bank's Economic Prospects Report released recently observed that the Indian economy grew by 7.2 per cent in 2018-19 and is expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in the next two fiscal years.

 

With reforms like GST, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, Single Window Clearance and improvement in the ease of doing business in the country, India is at the cusp of becoming an economic power. We all need to now work together to achieve this goal.

 

Technology is a great democratic tool. It is not only an enabler but also an equalizer, which can help a billionaire as also the poorest of poor. Ultimately governance is about people and the quality of their lives.  It is this quality that needs to be impacted and transformed for the better. The delivery of services needs to be significantly streamlined and made as citizen friendly as possible.

 

We must harness the untapped potential of technology to not only improve the ‘ease of business’ which we are doing very effectively now but also move beyond to other spheres of life and utilize its power to enhance people’s ‘ease of living’ and the “happiness quotient”.

 

Let me conclude by congratulating Times Group for starting a new vertical that will cater to the government sector. I hope that the reports, news, views and information that you present will help government in policy formulation and improving the efficiency and efficacy of governmental schemes and programmes.

 

Thank you.

 

Jai Hind!"

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AKT/BK/MS/RK