G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting
- The Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting, held on 23-24 August, was attended by 33 heads of delegation- Ministers, senior officials and representatives from invited countries and international organizations, like EU, UNCTAD, ITU etc. India was represented by Union Minister for Electronics and IT & Law and Justice,Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad.
- Highlighting the enormous scale of India’s digital infrastructure that included 1.21 billion mobile phones, of which 450 million are smartphones, nearly 500 million internet subscriber and an ever increasing broadband availability being supported by optical fibre connectivity in 250,000 village clusters, Minister Prasad said that the success of Digital India programme lay in the conscious efforts to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion, based upon technology which is low cost, affordable, developmental and which fosters empowerment and inclusion.
- The Minister, in particular, highlighted the important role played by India’s home grown technologies for promoting digital payment, including importance on interoperable open-source technologies so that these platforms can be used by others to develop more innovative structures as well as leading to new norms of digital identity based authentication which are a generation ahead. All this is in addition to the stellar role played by India’s IT companies, which have left their mark in 200 cities of 80 countries, enabling India to emerge as a profound digital power, with India’s digital economy likely to become 1 trillion $ economy in the next 3-5 years, he added.
- India believed in internet access for all, adding that the Internet is one of the finest creations of the human mind, but it cannot be the monopoly of a few. He also stated that while Cyber-space is truly global, it must be linked with local ideas, local culture and local views. He said that the largest and most dynamic markets for digital services are in Asia, Latin America and Africa with India having one of the largest foot-print of several popular social media and other digital platforms. It is only fair and just that the revenue and profit generated from these platforms be equitably reinvested in the largest markets to create more infrastructures and generate more job opportunities for the people there,
- India had taken a serious note of reported misuse of social media platform data. Such Platforms will never be allowed to abuse our election process for extraneous means