Govt meets top digital companies to explore trillion-dollar digital dream

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Impressed with India’s digital growth in recent years, Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shanker Prasad met with chief executives of top digital companies in the country to discuss opportunities to be $1-trillion digital economy.

“India’s digital story has been an exemplary. We now need to work together to develop digital health, agriculture, and education,” said Prasad after meeting executives from companies such as Facebook, Google, Bharti Airtel and HDFC Bank. Prasad shared his thoughts on social site Twitter.

The suggestions made during the consultation will be incorporated in the blueprint being prepared for the sector by McKinsey and will be ready by January 15. This is not all, the ministry is also trying to bring in all states.

“I am also calling a meeting of all the IT ministers and secretaries of the states to take all their feedback because we want to take the state governments also on board,” Prasad said.

Prasad also said Google has pointed out the need to have a mapping policy for India where all the roads and infrastructure could be digitally mapped.

“I have asked the department to work with other departments for a national policy on mapping of roads and infrastructure,” said Prasad. “I am very happy that the road map for the one trillion dollar digital economy is going in the right direction.”

This is the second such meeting to be held by Prasad.

“India’s digital economy is currently $400 billion and in the coming 5-7 years, it is going to become a $1-trillion economy,” the minister had said at a session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in July this year. The digital economy includes communication, IT and ITES, electronic manufacturing, cyber security, e-commerce and digital payments, he added.

Digital India dream

He said digital programmes like Digital India, Stand Up India and Make in India are going to make India a technological hub. The digital sector in the country has nearly a turnover of $280 billion.

Among the executives, who attended the meet include Rajan Anandan of Google, Raman Roy, CEO of Quatrro, Mathew Oomen, president of Jio, Hari Om Agarwal, CMD of Lava International, Pranay Jivrajka, co-founder of Ola, Harmeen Mehta, CIO of Airtel, and Shivnath Thukral of Facebook.

Besides, the government is planning to launch 1000 digital villages along with virtual classrooms and health rooms by end of this year. To boost digital payment,  has also decided that Indian Government will reimburse the MDR charges levied on digital payments upto Rs. 2000 made through debit cards, BHIM-UPI and Aadhar Pay.

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