New Delhi: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi today said that the world is at an inflection point where technology advancement is transformational therefore it is vital that India and the United Kingdom, two countries linked by history, work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
Modi was addressing the India-UK Tech Summit in the capital. Especially present at this summit was Prime Minister of United Kingdom Theresa May.
Welcoming the British Prime Minister, Modi said that her presence reaffirms her commitment to the bilateral relationship. It is an honour that she chose to visit India as her first bilateral trip outside her immediate neighborhood , the Prime Minister observed.
Modi said that India is now the fastest growing large economy with the most open investment climate. India with its nnovative entrepreneurs, talented work force and R&D capabilities combined with large markets, demographic dividend and increasing economic competitiveness offer new growth sources for the world economy.
Likewise, Modi added, the UK too has experienced resilient growth in the recent past. It excels in academic quest and technological innovation.
Further Modi said India is the 3rd largest investor in UK, and UK is the largest G20 investor in India. Both countries support large numbers of jobs in each other’s economies. We have agreed to establish India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre on solar energy with joint investment of 10 million pounds. A new Anti-Microbial Resistance initiative with joint investment of 15 million pounds is also being launched.
Science is Universal but Technology has to be local, Modi said adding it is in this context that such summits throw an opportunity to understand each other’s requirements and forge our future relationship on that understanding.
India-UK Tech Summit, New Delhi
India will soon have over a billion phone connections with an urban tele-density of around 154%. We have 350 million internet users, the Indian Prime Minister said. He also informed the audience that India is bringing in last mile connectivity to nearly 100,000 villages across the country. Such rapid growth offers new digital highways and new markets for UK and Indian companies to address.
‘Fintech’ is emerging as the next big transformation for India as we bring 220 million new households into the umbrella of the ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, Modi said adding with UK’s leadership in financial technology and international finance, promising opportunities can be harnessed by our enterprises in this mission.
Regarding the ‘Smart City’ mission, Modi said, it aims to integrate digital technology into our rapidly urbanizing environment. He expressed happiness as there is already a high level of interest from the UK in projects in Pune, Amaravati and Indore. Already UK has signed deals worth 9 billion pounds, the Prirme Minister said emphasising that he would encourage more participation.
The ‘Start-up India’ program aims at converging innovation and technology with entrepreneurship for our tech-savvy youth. Today, India and UK have emerged among the top three largest startup hubs in the world, the Prime Minister said while stating that he is happy to note that the India-UK Tech Summit focuses on higher education. Education, according to him is vital for students of both countries and will define their engagement in a shared future. We must therefore encourage greater mobility and participation of young people in educational and research opportunities, asserted Modi.