India to uphold its data sovereignty, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Minister of electronics and information technology, law and justice and communications Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said that India would uphold its data sovereignty and the country is poised to become a trillion USD digital economy in the next three to four years.

Prasad said the government has finalised the data protection law and he feels that data anonymity should be kept in focus and identity of people should remain a secret.

The minister laid emphasis on the five key things which include- data availability, data utility, data innovation, data localisation and data security.

While underscoring the success of digital governance in several parts of the country, he said the centre is contemplating to establish one lakh digital villages in the next few years.

The digital villages would have common services centre (CSC), public Wi-Fi, digital literacy, computer training centres. Prasad said once a particular village starts prospering then it would be linked to the e-health and the e-education and ultimately with the district health centres.

Around 30 digital villages were set up by Prasad in Patna district. He said one would amaze that people did not demand for better roads, drains but laid emphasis on having digital villages. This is what the government owes to the people of India, he said.

Prasad said electricity and digital delivery of services have enabled digital inclusion which is aimed at bridging the digital divide between digital have and digital have-nots. There used to be 80,000 CSCs before the BJP government came to power which was scaled up to 3.20 lakh in 2.40 lakh Gram Panchayats, he said.

He also highlighted that how the CSCs have played a key role in rolling out essential government services to the people. He said 2.5 crore out of three crore people were registered at the CSCs across the country for the centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Prasad also said 240 BPOs are operational in 120 small cities of India and now the country is having a huge digital appetite.

He was speaking at the national council meeting of the confederation of Indian industries in New Delhi on Friday where he talked about the changing Indian politics.

He believes that a tectonic shift is happening in the Indian politics. The BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 which has increased to 303 in 2019. BJP came to power with two third of majority on its own and that too after 50 years an incumbent Prime Minister was reelected with the thumping majority, he said.

There is a need of drawing bigger lines so that people respond. If you deliver honestly on the ground, people respond. Nine crore toilets were constructed by the previous governments from 1947 to 2014 and around 10 crore of them were built by the BJP government in the last five years in the rural parts.

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