AIR Spotlight - PM’s Address at 5th Edition of Viva Technology

AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the PM’s keynote address at the 5th edition of VivaTech.

Participants:

  • Sharad Kohli, Economic Analyst.
  • Sonu Sood, AIR Correspondent.

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s keynote address at the 5th edition of Viva Technology, one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe.

Background:

  • The Prime Minister was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech on 16th June 2021.
  • Other prominent speakers in the event included Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, Mr. Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries. 
  • The event also witnessed the participation of corporate leaders like Mr. Tim Cook, CEO, Apple, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook, and Mr. Brad Smith, President, Microsoft among others.

What is VivaTech?

  • VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016. It is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group. 
  • It brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem and includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions, and startup contests. The 5th edition of VivaTech was held between 16-19 June 2021.

What is the significance of the Indian PM being invited to VivaTech?

  • It is a matter of pride for every Indian that the PM of India was invited to one of the largest digital and startup power platforms.
  • The message sent by this invitation is very loud and clear that India is the next digital and startup power.

Key highlights of the PM’s keynote address:

The important takeaways from the PM’s keynote address are as follows:

  • The Prime Minister stressed the need for insulating our planet against the next pandemic.
  • He also said that disruption does not have to mean despair, we must keep the focus on the twin foundations of repair and preparation.
  • He added that the challenges our planet faces can only be overcome with a collective spirit and a human-centric approach.
  • He said that this pandemic is not only a test of our resilience but also of our imagination. It is a chance to build a more inclusive, caring, and sustainable future for all.
  • India is home to one of the world’s largest start-up ecosystems, India offers what innovators and investors need. He invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars of Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.
  • He concluded by saying that France and Europe are our key partners, our partnerships must serve a larger purpose in the service of humanity.

Achievements of India in digital technology:

The Prime Minister highlighted the achievements of Digital India during the pandemic which are as follows:

Aadhar and Food Supply:

  • The Prime Minister pointed out that where convention fails, innovation helps. He said that during the pandemic, digital technology helped us cope, connect, comfort and console. India’s universal and unique biometric digital identity system Aadhar helped to provide timely financial support to the poor. 
  • With the help of Aadhar, it was possible to supply free food to 800 million people and deliver cooking-fuel subsidies to many households. 

Education:

  • In India, two public digital education programs – Swayam and Diksha were operationalized in quick time to help students.
  • Now, the schools and colleges have started their own digital platforms for teaching which are helping the students to learn at home during the pandemic.

Digitization of Healthcare:

  • The Prime Minister praised the role of the start-up sector in meeting the challenge of the pandemic. 
  • The private sector played a key role in addressing the shortage of PPE kits, masks, testing kits, etc. 
  • Doctors adopted telemedicine in a big way so that some COVID and other non-COVID issues could be addressed virtually. 
  • Two vaccines are being made in India and more are in the development or trial stage. 
  • The Prime Minister indicated that the indigenous IT platform, Arogya-Setu enabled effective contact tracing. The COWIN digital platform has already helped ensure vaccines to millions.

Other initiatives:

  • The Prime Minister enumerated initiatives like the state-of-the-art public digital infrastructure, five hundred and twenty-three thousand kilometers of fiber-optic network linking, one hundred and fifty-six thousand village councils, and public wi-fi networks across the country. 
  • He also elaborated on efforts to nurture a culture of innovation. There are state-of-the-art innovation labs in seven thousand five hundred schools under the Atal Innovation Mission, informed the Prime Minister.

India as the world’s largest startup ecosystem:

  • India is a pool of talent and innovations. Most of the population of India belongs to the age group of below 35 years which is a very significant factor. 
  • PM Modi stressed that as India is a hub of innovation and talent, they just need a platform to showcase their talents. 
  • The Prime Minister said that India is home to one of the world’s largest start-up ecosystems. Several unicorns have come up in recent years. India offers what innovators and investors need. 
  • In recent years, when data security and cybercrime have emerged as the major concern, the youth in India are also working on these issues and they will come up with the strongest ideas to deal with these issues.
  • The Prime Minister also stressed on the strengths like the Indian talent pool, mobile phone penetration and the 775 million internet users, the highest and cheapest data consumption in the world, and the highest use of social media to invite investors to India.

Repair and Prepare:

  • Talking about the disruption in different sectors over the past year, the Prime Minister insisted that disruption does not have to mean despair. Instead, the focus should be kept on the twin foundations of repair and prepare. 
  • He said that this time last year, the world was still seeking a vaccine. Today, we have quite a few. Similarly, we have to continue repairing health infrastructure and our economies. India has implemented huge reforms across sectors, be it mining, space, banking, atomic energy, and more. This goes on to show that India as a nation is adaptable and agile, even in the middle of the pandemic.
  • He motivated everyone that don’t get disheartened by the disruptions, just focus on their goals and achievements.

Prime Minister Modi invited investors:

  • PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars of Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness. 
  • What he meant to say was that there is no dearth of talent, hard work, and innovations in India, the investors just have to invest and see the wonders the youth of India will bring to them.
  • The Prime Minister also stressed the need for insulating our planet against the next pandemic. We should focus on sustainable lifestyles that stop ecological degradation. We should also strengthen cooperation in furthering research as well as innovation. 
  • The Prime Minister called upon the start-up community to take the lead in working with collective spirit and a human-centric approach to overcome this challenge. 
  • The start-up space is dominated by youngsters. These are people free from the baggage of the past. They are best placed to power global transformation. 
  • He also added that our start-ups must explore areas such as healthcare, eco-friendly technology including waste recycling, agriculture and new-age tools of learning.
  • This conveyed the hidden message that India will be the biggest economic and digital power in the upcoming years.

Conclusion:

The participation of the Indian Prime Minister in the Viva Technology startup summit reflects the growing stature of India in the technology and entrepreneurship domain. Such a platform also provides an opportunity for Indian startups to share their ideas and innovations with other countries. Start-ups are playing an important role in the digital transformation of India and will play a pivotal role in the overall economic growth of the country.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Prime Minister’s keynote address at the 5th edition of Viva Technology:- Download PDF Here

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