India on a roll towards its Techade, never seen this kind of global appetite for Indian tech: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar

On the closing day of TechSparks 2023, IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar applauded India's efforts towards a tech-first future, where the world is hungry to consume Indian tech and innovation. He also said that the govt sees AI as a "force multiplier".

India on a roll towards its Techade, never seen this kind of global appetite for Indian tech: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Saturday September 23, 2023,

3 min Read

Last few days have been surreal in the history of India with several momentous legislations and announcements, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said at YourStory's TechSparks 2023 in Bengaluru on Saturday. 

Starting with the inauguration of the new Parliament building, followed by the passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill 2023, to device-maker Apple selling the first batch of 'Made in India' iPhone 15 models to the ground-breaking ceremony held by chipmaking major Micron to kick off the first phase of its $2.75 billion semiconductor packaging facility at Sanand, Gujarat—the minister said that it looks like “India is on a roll towards a Techade”.

Proposal to create Digital India Fund 

Speaking to YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, the MoS also announced a proposal by the government to launch a Digital India Fund to encourage domestic capital investment into Indian startups. 

“The government of India is proposing to the Prime Minister, as part of the upcoming Budget, the setting up of a technology fund very akin to the National India Infrastructure Fund," Chandrasekhar revealed.

"It is not official yet—but we in the ministry refer to it as Digital India Fund, where domestic capital will step in and help startups to counter the scarcity of funding in the current environment,” he said.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union MoS for Electronics and IT, at TechSparks 2023

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On Indian tech going global

The minister also highlighted the success of the recent G20 Summit hosted by India, and the recognition of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) as a key-priority area by the Digital Economy Working Group.

While India has signed Memoranda of Understanding with nine countries for access to the DPI developed indigenously as part of the India Stack, 20 more countries have expressed interest in accessing the DPI through open source to digitise the lives of their citizens, he revealed.

“I have never seen this kind of appetite in the world to consume Indian tech and innovation—it is an inflection point for India. People are recognising what young Indians are capable of,” the minister said. 

He also announced the first edition of The Global India AI Summit. It will showcase India’s approach to regulatory AI and the innovation ecosystem built around AI, and will be held in December, along with the annual summit of Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) 2023, in New Delhi.

India is currently the president of the GPAI. “We see AI as a kinetic enabler and force multiplier rather than a passing fad,” said Chandrasekhar.

DPDP Act a legislation for the people

The minister also called the recently notified Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act  “... an article of faith for the Prime Minister.”

He added, “We are not legislating for the government; we are legislating for the hundreds of thousands of Indians who are thinking innovation, building the future, and whatever we do, it must enable them.”

Chandrasekhar added that while the world looks at European nations for their GDPR laws for data protection and privacy, India's current DPDP Act will become the new benchmark, globally.

Edited by Sohini Mitter