Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said foreign investments and innovations are welcome but at the same time, the government is focussed on promoting Indian innovation as well as keen on the country’s safety and security. Speaking at the India Mobile Congress 2020, the IT and Telecom Minister said that IT and communications sectors have registered over 7 per cent growth and received one of the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) even during the challenging time of COVID-19. “We are not against FDI, we are not against foreign innovative minds. They are most welcome, FDI is 100 per cent automatic… foreign capital is welcome, foreign innovation is welcome, but we are equally keen that safety and security of the country is also important,” he said.
He emphasised that digital technologies have to be safe so that “vested interests, extremists may not abuse it” and added that they must also be sustainable. His remarks also come against the backdrop of the government banning many mobile applications in recent months, citing national security issues. Prasad said the government is focussed on ensuring that an enabling atmosphere is available for Indian minds to help create a robust 4G network as the “precursor” of the 5G network. “We’re also very keen that India must be 5G ready and for that test beds have been created, those provisions will also be unfolded further. We want good innovation, Indians have got all the talent… we must also help in innovation creation and empowerment of the 5G process with good application of Indian human resources and innovative minds,” he said. Further, Prasad said the government has utilised digital channels for empowering the masses.
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“We sent Rs 13 lakh crore, close to USD 175 billion in the last five-and-a-half years through these digital instruments directly to the bank account of the poor and we have saved Rs 1.78 lakh crore, approximately USD 24 billion,” he said. According to him, new technologies, whether it is 5G, artificial intelligence or IoT, will all work together to create a further favourable ecosystem where mobile phones are at the centre, bring in more opportunities and an enabling atmosphere.