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Atmanirbhar Bharat Does Not Mean Isolated India, insists Ravi Shankar Prasad

Top companies have applied, and committed to make mobile phone and equipments worth Rs.10 lakh crore in India in the next five years, of which Rs.7 lakh crore is for exports, according to  Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice. He was speaking at the 15th India Digital Summit, organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in New Delhi.

Mr. Prasad insisted that Atmanirbhar Bharat doesn’t mean isolated India. “Atmanirbhar Bharat means India is an active participant in the global economy and this is the crux of the whole PLI scheme. India’s time in the global electronic manufacturing has come,” he said. .

This March, the central government introduced a scheme that aims to provide companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units. Apart from inviting foreign companies to set shop in India, the scheme also aims to encourage local companies to set up or expand existing manufacturing units.

According to Mr. Prasad, India has become the hub of mobile manufacturing and this process is irreversible. Speaking about the success of the PLI scheme, he said the scheme was launched during the height of COVID in April 2020 just to test the capacity of India and the attraction of India.

“What future I further want to add up to this initiative is that India must become the biggest manufacture centre of laptop manufacturing, of machine 2 machine equipments, of tablets etc. I want to develop that ecosystem – from mobile phones, to smart phones to laptops to tablets to M2M equipments, to IoT devices, India must become a huge center of these equipment manufacturing,” the Union Minister insisted.

He pointed out that India had only two mobile factories in 2014, but now India is home to 268 mobile factories. “We have become the 2nd biggest mobile manufacturer in the world, and it is one of my wishes to make India number one,” he added.

Talking about MSIPs he said that it is important to come up with right set of policies. Based on the success of MSIPS and electronic manufacturing, “We decided to go in a big way on production linked incentives. The idea is to bring global champion companies to India and enable Indian companies to become national” he added.

Mr. Prasad also said that Digital India was consciously designed to empower ordinary Indians and to bridge the digital divide and bring in digital inclusion. “Inclusion was the hallmark of Digital India. In last five-and-a-half years, we sent direct benefit transfer to close to 13 lakh crore and saved US$24 billion dollars. We disbursed close to Rs.8000 crores to Aadhar-enabled payment during COVID and the postal department played a crucial role in this.”

Citing the examples of Aarogya Setu and WANI, he said that these initiatives are indicative of tectonic shifts in the digital ecosystem of India. Even in vaccination, COVID digital platform is going to play a crucial role in managing the logistics of vaccination in the entire country. “Therefore, from vaccination to digital payment to digital delivery of services, direct benefit transfer, all these could fructify in a very effective manner because of the Digital India ecosystem which we have laid down in the last five years,” said Mr. Prasad.

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