India is emerging as a big digital power: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 11: Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday released the ‘Vision Document’ for a digital North East by 2022 in the presence of Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and  Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb at a function held here on Saturday.

The vision document aims to enhance peoples’ lives by capacity building of government staff and doubling BPO strength in the region.

Unveiling the plans under the ‘Digital North East: Vision 2022’, Prasad said the document emphasises leveraging digital technologies to transform lives of people of the Northeast and enhance the ease of living.

The Union minister said that under the programme efforts have been made to bring in all the people of the region under digital influence. He said that Digital India has lent transparency into the entire system as under the system the beneficiaries are entitled to DBT through banks. He also said that under the direction of the Prime Minister, the Union minister along with other senior officers have come to Northeast to assess the implementation of Digital India programme in the region.

The Union minister also said that six medical college including Gauhati Medical College, Assam Medical College will get the benefits of e-class. He also said that besides opening a Regional Data Centre in Guwahati, the seat capacity at BPOs in Northeast will be increased from five to 10 thousand. He also said 50 thousand government employees will be encompassed under digital technology.

The document said high speed broadband connectivity in all the uncovered villages in the North Eastern region shall be provided.

The document identifies eight digital thrust areas – digital infrastructure, digital services, digital empowerment, promotion of electronics manufacturing, promotion of IT and IT enabled services including BPOs, digital payments, innovation & startups, and cyber security.

The vision document aims to empower the people of the North Eastern region and state-wise roadmaps have been developed for implementing digital initiatives.

While speaking on the occasion, chief minister Sonowal said that to stimulate the development of Northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to connect the region with digital platform. He also said that the region will not be legging behind if the educated workforce of the region are empowered to use digital technologies. He also said that programmes implemented by the Centre for the development of communication in the region has led to injecting confidence in the young minds. This vision will play the role of a catalyst to energise the communication of North East with the ASEAN and BBN countries in the face of Act East Policy.

Meghalaya chief minister of Conrad Sangma and Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb and several other ministers from the Northeast also spoke on the occasion.

Synchronising with the programme the Union minister also laid the foundation stone of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Guwahati and other four cities of the region. He also inaugurated a BPO Unit for Majuli under North East BPO Promotion Scheme.

Prasad and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal jointly laid foundation for two electronics manufacturing units and a common facility centre named Start-up World of Innovation in Future Technologies (SWIFT) at Electronics Manufacturing Cluster in the Tech City at Bongara here.

The SWIFT centre is an initiative of the information and technology department, which is supported by the ministry of electronics and IT and implemented by the Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. (AMTRON). The SWIFT centre and electronics manufacturing units once completed, would significantly boost economy and innovation in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Prasad said that the Government of India is promoting governance to digital platform as a result of which the country is emerging as a big digital power. He said that people of the north east being hardworking, dynamic and creative would be an active partner in this transformation.

Stating that big start up movement is rising in India, the Union Minister observed that the IIT and IIITs are no longer job seekers, rather they have emerged as job givers. He hoped that once the Tech City grows fully, it would significantly boost innovation and generate employment for local youth with more small and medium electronics manufacturing companies setting up their units here.

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