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Leaders of the tech world, international delegates, and friends,

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I am delighted to address the Bengaluru Tech summit once again. I am sure you all are loving the warm people and vibrant culture of Karnataka.

Friends,

Bengaluru is the home of technology and thought leadership. It is an inclusive city. It is also an innovative city. For many years, Bengaluru is number one in India’s Innovation Index.

Friends,

India’s technology and innovation have already impressed the world. But the future will be much bigger than our present. Because India has: Innovative youth and increasing tech access.

Friends,

The power of India’s youth is known across the world. They have ensured tech globalisation and talent globalisation. Healthcare, management, finance – you will find young Indians leading many domains. We are using our talent for global good. Even in India, their impact is being seen. India jumped to the 40th rank in the Global Innovation Index this year. In 2015, we were ranked 81! The number of unicorn start-ups in India has doubled since 2021! We are now the 3rd largest start-up hub in the world. We have over 81,000 recognised startups. There are hundreds of international companies that have R&D centres in India. This is due to India’s talent pool.

Friends,

Indian youth are being empowered by increasing tech access. A mobile and data  revolution is happening in the country. In the last 8 years, Broadband connections rose from 60 million to 810 million, Smartphone users went from 150 million to 750 million. The growth of the internet is faster in rural areas than in urban areas. A new demographic is being connected to the information superhighway.

Friends,

For a long time, technology was seen as an exclusive domain. It was said to be only for the high and mighty. But India has shown how to democratise technology. India has also shown how to give tech a human touch. In India, technology is a force of equality and empowerment. The world’s largest health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat provides a safety net for nearly 200 million families. It means, about 600 million people! This programme is run based on a tech platform. India ran the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccine drive. It was run through a tech-based platform called COWIN. Let us go from the health sector to education.

India has one of the largest online repositories of open courses. There are thousands of courses available across different subjects. Over 10 million successful certification have happened. This is all done online and free. Our data  tariffs are among the lowest in the world. During COVID-19, low data costs helped poor students to attend online classes. Without this, two precious years would have been lost for them.

Friends,

India is using technology as a weapon in the war against poverty. Under Svamitva scheme, we are using drones to map lands in rural areas. Then, property cards are given to the people. This reduces land disputes. It also helps the poor to access financial services and credit. During COVID-19, many countries were struggling with a problem. They knew people needed help. They knew benefit transfers would help. But they did not have the infrastructure to take benefits to people. But India showed how technology could be a force for the good. Our Jan Dhan Aadhar Mobile Trinity gave us the power to directly transfer benefits. Benefits went directly to authenticated and verified beneficiaries. Billions of rupees reached the bank accounts of the poor. During COVID-19, everyone was worried about small businesses. We helped them but we went one step further. We help street vendors access working capital to restart businesses. Those who start using digital payments are given incentives. This is making digital transactions a way of life for them.

Friends,

Have you heard of a government running a successful e-commerce platform? It has happened in India. We have the Government e-Marketplace, also called GeM. It is a platform where small traders and businesses fulfil the government’s needs. Technology has helped small businesses find a big customer. At the same time, this has reduced the scope for corruption. Similarly, technology has helped with online tendering.This has accelerated projects and boosted transparency. It has also hit a procurement value of Rs One trillion last year.

Friends,

Innovation is important. But when backed by integration, it becomes a force. Technology is being used to end silos, enable synergy and ensure service. On a shared platform, there are no silos. Take, for example, the PM Gati Shakti National Masterplan. India is investing over Rs 100 trillion in infrastructure over the next few years. The number of stakeholders in any infra project is huge. Traditionally, in India, big projects were often delayed. Exceeding expenses, and extending timelines used to be common. But now, we have the Gati Shakti shared platform. The central government, state governments, district administrations, different departments can coordinate. Each of these knows what the other is doing. Information relating to projects, land use and institutions are available at a single place. So, each stakeholder sees the same data. This improves coordination and solves problems even before they occur. It is accelerating approvals and clearances.

Friends,

India is no more a place known for red tape. It is known for red carpet for investors. Whether it is FDI reforms, Or liberalization of drone rules, Or steps in the semiconductor sector, Or the production incentive schemes in various sectors, Or the rise of ease of doing business,

Friends,

India has many excellent factors coming together. Your investment and our innovation can do wonders. Your trust and our tech talent can make things happen. I invite you all to work with us as we lead the world in solving its problems. I am sure your deliberations at the Bangalore Tech Summit will be interesting and fruitful. I wish you all the best.

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