Government’s Digital India project will create over 50 million jobs once it is complete, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.
“IT gives employment to about 3 million people. Once Digital India becomes reality, we can give jobs to five crore plus people,” Prasad said while addressing students at Shri Ram College of Commerce.
Digital India is an umbrella programme of the government comprising various projects worth about Rs. 100,000 crores to transform the country into a knowledge economy.
The programme includes projects that aim to ensure easy access to technology infrastructure and government services are to citizens.
He said there is boom in e-commerce sector, which is pushing development of logistics and his ministry is working on scheme to open BPOs in small towns and rural areas.
Besides, government’s effort to ramp up electronics manufacturing will create these jobs.
“Once BPOs start opening up in mofussil towns, there will be computer training for which computer centres will come up that too will create jobs. We are running ambitious program of Make In India which will have to be supplemented with skilled India. These all will create jobs,” Prasad said.
A student from Datia district in Madhya Pradesh raised issue of absence of power in small towns, absence of teachers in schools and doctors in hospital and asked the scope of Digital India in absence of such basic infrastructure.
“It is true that electricity is not everywhere. Either you keep cribbing that there is no power or fix it. There was no power in Gujarat, Narendra Modi ji promised that I will give power round the clock and today it is there. In your state Madhya Pradesh, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is making effort, many villages are getting electricity,” Prasad said.
He said that India can’t wait for electricity to reach first and stop working.
“It is how you see at things, when you will have Digital India programme running in nearby villages, then there will be pressure on local leaders to get electricity in their village as well,” Prasad added.
Responding to a query from another student as to why India has not been able to develop sites like Google or Facebook, Prasad said that there is new wave of startup IT companies which are developing innovative products.
“We have got 4,000 startups in India. Many of them are back from Silicon Valley, making their own products and making foreign companies run for money. I see they have potential to become Google or Facebook of India. Even Google and Facebook are becoming Indian by developing content in regional languages,” Prasad said.