‘India can replace China as a tech gear-supplier to the world’

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New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) India can replace China as a leading low-cost, high-technology telecom and technology equipment supplier, provided it gets the right amount of government incentives and funding to compete with global players in the world market, said top business leaders.
The feeling that the government needs to strengthen the industry by helping it to come out of the financial depression, to make India a strong competitor to China was a dominant reflection by a panel in an ongoing series of webinars being organised by Foreign Correspondent Club South Asia (FCC).
The FCC organised a special webinar on India’s campaign towards self-reliance with three leading business leaders — CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra; Rajan Mathews, DG, COAI (Cellular Operators’ Association of India); and senior government official Dr Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC e- Governance Services India Limited.
They also felt that policy initiatives, public-private partnership and an enabled entrepreneurship ecosystem down to the last mile are needed to leapfrog India towards an AtmaNirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) with a $5-trillion economy.
“AtmaNirbhar Bharat does not mean turning away from international trade. In fact, we want to become the enabler of international trade by taking lead in supply chain,” Gurnani said, while opening the session at the webinar.
“India can adopt and change but we need leadership from the government in making AtmaNirbhar Bharat a reality. I am glad the Modi government has given a clarion call. We need to convert this into a momentum and increase consumption for India to be self-reliant now,” the Tech Mahindra MD & CEO said.
As the world faces an unprecedented crisis, India has chosen a renewed path of a self-reliant economy, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing a Rs 20-lakh crore stimulus package “AtmaNirbhar Bharat” which is 10 per cent of its economy.
“We have talent and we must monetise our capacity to create value. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in terms of creating value within the country. We do not invest heavily in R&D and hence have been left behind in the IPR (Intellectual property rights) game,” Mathews of COAI said.
“We have to incentivize R&D if we want to make AtmaNirbhar Bharat a reality. We must also consider Open Source as a serious business opportunity and become smarter at trade negotiations.
“There is a need to priorities two-three specific industries as other countries have done. We must make credit cheaper and get money into the hands of people who can create value. We need to empower start-ups and individuals to develop our capacities,” he said.
Tyagi of CSC e-Governance Services said that various initiatives of Common Service Centres (CSC) are today empowering the country’s farmers are being empowered through and for those who are unable to earn their livelihood and are dependent, digital literacy has proved to be a boon by empowering them to be self-dependent.
“Our Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) from various parts of the country are doing wonders and they have done great work during Covid-19. We have created ICT-enabled rural enterprises in the country.
“We are working on all the services for rural people towards building an empowered and digitally inclusive society. ‘Digital literacy’ through CSCs has emerged as a ray of hope for the life of villagers… With the help of technology, we are building AtamNirbhar Bharat,” Tyagi said.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia is a group of more than a thousand journalists and photographers covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan and Tibet.

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