“They (TRAI) will come up with a final document, on the basis of which the government will make a decision. But the thought process is that we have to make it affordable. It’s a very, very important shift in thinking and COVID has made us realize the importance of telecommunications … everything has gone digital, âsaid Vaishnaw.
The nation and society as a whole have today recognized that there is an element of ‘public good’ in spectrum pricing, said Vaishnaw and recalled that previously spectrum was seen as a resource that should maximize revenue. .
âToday there is a balance in the thought process between maximizing income and providing maximum services to the poorâ¦ there has to be a balanceâ¦ somewhere where it should be found. This balance is today in a consultative process in the country, “he said.
Vaishnaw, who is also minister of electronics and computing and railways, added that the internet brings opportunities and challenges, and regulations focus on ensuring a safe environment for all. the users.
“… Internet brings good as well as bad things. How to tackle challenges appropriately. Much thought has gone into regulation and this is in line with the global thinking that social media, big tech, the Internet … as it is today, affecting our society in a positive as well as a negative way, somewhere the balance must be found “, declared the Minister.
Listing various challenges facing nations around the world, the Minister also drew attention to the impact of âBig Techâ on democracies and societies.
“… the impact of big technology on our democracy, our society, the safety, the security of our children … This is an important thing, the way in which big technology can change the way we think, the great technology can affect our decision making, can change our behavior aspects, can make a fundamental difference in any election. So this is a very important challenge facing all of humanity today, “said Vaishnaw .
When asked about the program or subsidies that would be needed to switch mobile phone users in the country to smartphones, the minister noted that India has made considerable progress in boosting mobile phone manufacturing, through policies and initiatives.
âToday India is the second largest manufacturer of cell phones in the world. With this type of ecosystem, which has developed over the past 4 to 5 years, the costs of mobile phones have fallen to less than Rs 10,000, significantly. This is an important price level, because this price level becomes affordable for the most modest layers of society â, declared the Minister.
The government is implementing other such initiatives to boost component and chip manufacturing in India and further reduce supply chain costs.
âWith this ecosystem, the cost of smartphones will go down further, which will further lower the prices and make them more affordable,â Vaishnaw said.
On a question about the risk of cyber warfare amid geopolitical tensions, the minister said there must be an understanding among the like-minded countries on the cyber threat being a common threat.
“As a global society, we must make sure that countries which use the cyber threat as a state weapon must be emphatically told, that this is not the way humanity must move forward,” he said. he declares.
India is investing heavily in technology, processes and training to deal with cyber threats and, in the recent past, has âvery successfullyâ foiled some cyber threat incidents that have been attempted by âcertain sectionsâ.
“Many serious threats have also been successfully thwarted,” he said.
On whether India would take the lead in setting global standards for data protocols for like-minded nations, Vaishnaw said policymakers around the world are grappling with ways to deal with the new challenges raised by technology and social media.
âToday there is a very important mix at the decision-makers level … when I interact with my counterparts in Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia … wherever the ministers responsible for technology grapple with the same points … are children safe? Is the confidentiality of my data preserved? Can I say yes, democracy is secure. Can she not be influenced in such a big way? “, did he declare.
Global policymakers also face issues such as fake news and other technology-related challenges.
“… is society becoming more and more polarized due to everyday connectivity, which we believe would democratize the whole and society would become more harmonized … is it moving in the opposite direction “he said, adding that these are questions that key leaders and organizations around the world are facing.
âI think the time has come when we should all have a new thought process, a new deal on this. The way the United Nations came into being, the way a new world order emerged in the 1940s after the WWII … a similar attempt is needed at this point. India would participate, India would lead this and we are very deeply involved in these discussions at all levels, within our country and in all forums. international, âVaishnaw said.
Noting that India has moved towards an investment-driven recovery, Vaishnaw said the Ministry of Railways alone is undertaking capital investments of USD 15 billion and is on track to meet this target of here mid-March 2022.
âWe have already achieved 60% of that goal,â said Vaishnaw. Referring to the country’s increased focus on clean energy to combat climate change, Vaishnaw informed that Indian railways aim to reach net zero by 2030, which is expected for the next 2-3 years. .
He also added that around 40 gigawatts of renewable energy tenders would be launched, which would attract high volumes of investment, including from abroad.
The CII Partnership Summit 2021 was organized in association with the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Trade and Industry.