Govt Will Ensure Internet Remains Open, Trusted, Not Dominated By Big Corporates: MoS IT

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NEW DELHI, Dec 15 (PTI): The government fully supports foreign and Indian companies in leveraging Internet as “force of good” but will take all measures to ensure that internet remains open and is not dominated by some big corporates, minister of state for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday.

Chandrasekhar said the government wants to make sure that intermediaries and the big platforms such as Meta (formerly Facebook) and others develop a culture of mutual respect and accountability between the platform and its users.

“And we also want to make sure that given that a billion Indians are going to be there… women, children, elderly, pensioners, all of them, that the internet is also safe and trusted. So, the issue of cybercrime, cyber security, all of that,” Chandrasekhar said while speaking at Fuel for India 2021 – Meta’s annual event in India.

The government is fully aligned and committed to partnerships with private sector companies, foreign and Indian firms, entrepreneurs, to expand the ‘good’ in the online universe. It will strive to ensure that the Internet is a “force of good”, to deliver access, equity and opportunity to every Indian.

“But we will also be very careful about ensuring that the internet remains free and open in terms of competitive pressures. It is not dominated by some big corporates. We also want to make sure that intermediaries and the big platforms such as yourself or anybody, really develop a culture of mutual respect and accountability between the platform and the user,” he said at the Meta event.

It is pertinent to mention here that Facebook’s parent company recently changed its name to Meta. Apps under Meta include Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, amongst others.

Noting the power of the internet in driving positive changes and accessibility, the minister said, “It also has its challenges in terms of the bad that creeps in along with the good.”

“My point of view or from the government’s point of view, what we want is not just to connect a billion Indians… but that the internet should continue to be open… It is safe and trusted, and it is accountable to the people who are the principal stakeholders, the users and the consumers,” Chandrasekhar emphasised.

While the government has a role in policymaking as also in strategic Research and Development and technology development, it sees entrepreneurship as a big driver in expansion of the digital economy.

“In India, as in most other technology intensive economies, it is really the entrepreneur who will drive the next stage of it, accelerate the growth and expand the economy, and really what we are seeing in India, is exactly that,” he said.

The confidence and energy visible in the startup ecosystem today validates that entrepreneurship is the fuel for economic growth, prosperity and opportunity.

“… Entrepreneurship will be the big energy, sort of a driver in how we expand the digital economy where the ambition of the Prime Minister is that it will reach a trillion dollars very soon.

“The common theme is that it is a combination of a government working in partnership with entrepreneurial energies, innovation, and creativity that will be the formula for winning the digital economy for India,” he said.

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