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Breaking FIRST : Modi convinces Silicon Valley about Digital India, lauds Facebook & Google
The euphoria was the same when he
visited Google, or addressed a meeting
of persons from LinkedIn or start-
In various speeches during his visit,
Modi said Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram were the new
“If Facebook were a country, it would
be the third most populous one and
the most connected,” he said.
Similarly, he said Google “has made
teachers less awe-inspiring and
grandparents more idle. Twitter has
turned everyone into a reporter. The
traffic lights that need to work the
best are on CISCO routers.”
The status that now matters, he said,
“is not whether you are awake or
asleep but whether you are online or
offline. The most fundamental debate
for our youth is the choice between
Android, iOS or Windows.”
From computing to communication,
entertainment to education, from
printing documents to printing
products, and, now to Internet of
Things, it’s been a long journey in a
short time.
Referring to digital networks, he
said, “We have attacked poverty by
using the power of networks and
mobile phones to launch a new era of
empowerment and inclusion: 180
million new bank accounts in a few
months; direct transfer of benefits to
the poor; funds for the unbanked;
insurance within the reach of the
poorest; and, pension for the sunset
years for all.”
By using Space technology and
internet, the country had been able to
identify in the last few months 170
applications that will make
governance better and development
“The pace at which people are taking
to digital technology defies our
stereotypes of age, education,
language and income,” he added.
“Customers, more than creators, are
defining the use of a product. The
world may be driven by the same
ancient impulses. We will continue to
see human struggles and successes.
We will witness human glory and
tragedies,” Modi said.
He added that in this digital age,
there was an opportunity to transform
lives of people in ways that was hard
to imagine just a couple of decades
“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. When you think of the
exponential speed and scale of
expansion of social media or a service,
you have to believe that it is equally
possible to rapidly transform the lives
of those who have long stood on the
margins of hope. So out of this
conviction was born the vision of
Digital India,” he said.
“It is an enterprise for India's
transformation on a scale that is,
perhaps, unmatched in human history.
Not just to touch the lives of the
weakest, farthest and the poorest
citizen of India, but change the way
our nation will live and work,” he
said. “We 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.”
After, Modi said he had just
launched the Narendra Modi Mobile
Information, education, skills,
healthcare, livelihood, financial
inclusion, small and village
enterprises, opportunities for women,
conservation of natural resources,
distributed clean energy – entirely
new possibilities have emerged to
change the development model.
“We want our 1.25 billion citizens to
be digitally connected. We already
have broadband usage across India go
up by 63 per cent last year. We need
to accelerate this further,” he
further said.
An aggressive expansion of the
National Optical Fibre Network had
been launched that will take
broadband to our 600,000 villages.
“We are expanding our public Wi-Fi
hotspots. For example, we want to
ensure that free Wi-Fi is not only
there in airport lounges, but also on
our railway platforms. Teaming up
with Google, we will cover 500
railway stations in a short time. We
are also setting up Common Service
Centres in villages and towns. We will
also use information technology to
build smart cities,” Modi informed.
“We are also setting up an Electronics
Development Fund to support design,
development and launch of new
products,” he added.
Indians account for 15 per cent of
startups in the United States.
“Hundreds of thousands of Indian
professionals here and in India are
contributing to the global success of
US enterprises. Many are leading them
today. This is the possibility of the
digital bridge - to connect distant
lives and change fortunes and
future,” he said.
Modi said he was delighted that
Qualcomm announced a fund of $150
million for startups in India.

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