New Delhi: The USA, Under Secretary of State Ms. Catherine Novelli met the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad last evening.
The Minister shared the Digital India vision with the Under Secretary and its broad constituents namely- the digital infrastructure, digital delivery of services and digital empowerment of citizens. He informed the Under Secretary about Idukki- the first district where NOFN has been commissioned. The government is in the process of digitizing the services of the states. We have launched Digital Literacy Mission to educate the citizens about the usage of digital technology. He shared the recent initiative of Jeevan Pramaan- a biometric identity based pension certification system and the biometric attendance system. MyGov is a participative platform developed for citizens to take active participation in the process of governance. Electronic manufacturing is an area that this government is promoting in a big way. The government has launched various incentives for promoting manufacturing in India.
The Under Secretary Ms. Novelli expressed that the companies from the USA are very excited to join India in promoting manufacturing. But she felt that the constraints of global supply chain must also be understood while promoting Make in India. Minister assured the Under Secretary that if US companies are investing in India, they will be treated at par with the Indian companies and they are not subjected to any different conditions for investing in India. If they manufacture in India, they not only sell their products in India but also export it to the rest of the world and avail incentives.
The Minister shared that the Cyber Security is another area of great concern for cooperation between India and the USA. He further raised the issue of governance of Internet and net neutrality. The Under Secretary felt that the discussions on internet governance has become more broad based and inclusive. There is a need to have dialogues with engineers, IT professionals, companies, stakeholders. Net neutrality is an area on which the US federal government has taken a firm stand that we do not want any compromises on net neutrality. To this the Minister shared that the Internet must promote local along with the global. For India, net neutrality is very important. It is an instrument for the masses and it must remain an instrument for the masses. As far as government architecture to deal with this issue is concerned India is studying this and discussing it with stakeholders.
Shri Ravi Shanker Prasad also shared with Ms. Novelli, India’s global representation in the internet governance the need to increase this. He felt that an open and democratic society must allow larger space to each other. Ms. Novelli said that it is very important for the USA also and the USA would like to see India playing larger role in the internet issues of the world. The USA is open to talk more about these issues and would like to be on the same side of these issues.
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.