Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said his ministry is working in mission mode to make India’s digital sector $1 trillion economy in next five years. This has potential to create 60 lakh to 75 lakh new jobs, he told reporters on the sidelines of World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), 2018, which began here on Monday.
Dispelling the apprehension that new technologies will displace jobs, he said that if a new technology displaces 10 jobs, it creates 100 new jobs. The minister recalled that during 1980s when computer was introduced in India, there was strong opposition to it due to the apprehension that it will kill jobs but it proved to be the biggest job creator.
Prasad believes that the technology has unique attribute of empowering people and creating jobs. He assured people that new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things and Robotics would further empower India and create new jobs.
Earlier, addressing the inaugural session of the Congress, he said the new technologies will take time to adjust and the government, NASSCOM, private sector, and academia have to ensure that the stakeholders are not made uncomfortable in the transition.
“We have to take extra care because once of power of technology is recognized, it will have smooth sailing. The transition period must be handled carefully,” he said. Hailing NASSCOM’s initiative to upskill existing workforce and also skill potential employees, he said this could address the consequences in the pace of acquisition of new technologies.
Stating that new technologies will bring in new challenges while creating new opportunities, he said ethical and regulatory issues have to be addressed. Referring to the huge number of mobile phones, smart phones, Internet penetration and unique verifiable digital identity in the share of Aadhar, he said that India’s digital story is finding resonance globally and digital companies are coming to India in a big way.
He said the government through projects like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India and Startup India was seeking to empower ordinary Indians with technology which is affordable and inclusive. “The real vision of Digital India is bridging the digital divide and empower ordinary Indians through digital delivery of services,” he added.