Ratan Tata Ji, who has always inspired and energized the country's social and business leadership, N. Chandrasekaran Ji who has been carrying his legacy forward, Rupa Ji, and ladies and gentlemen!!
Meeting Ratan Tata Ji and Chandrasekaran Ji and talking to them always gives a new experience. They have the responsibility of giving leadership to one of the largest institutions of the country.
Despite such a huge responsibility, I wonder how they manage to smile and be stress-free! I think Chandrashekaran Ji should write a book on this aspect in the future. And yes, I do not claim to have any patent for this Idea. You can do this without any stress!!!
I cannot say whether he will write a book or not, but the result of what happens with Smile and Stress-free Mind is in front of us as ‘Bridgital Nation'.
Positivity, creativity, and a constructive mindset can result in new ideas to solve the problems of the country.
This positivity, optimism, and belief in our talent and resources are the thinking of the new India.
I believe that this book will not only inspire Aspirational India but will also encourage some professional pessimists of the society to adopt a new approach and a new outlook. I congratulate Chandrasekharan Ji and Rupa Ji for this visionary document.
This book has come at a time when a huge effort is being made to demonize technology. An attempt is being made to create an atmosphere of fear.
Particularly in the context of India, technology is being represented as a challenge to our Demographic Dividend.
In this book, the vision of the government is further strengthened, according to which technology is shown as a medium of connection instead of creating disruptions.
Technology is a bridge, not a divider.
Technology and talent are force multipliers, not threats.
Technology is the bridge between Aspiration and Achievements.
Technology is the bridge between Demand and Delivery.
Technology is the bridge between Government and Governance.
Technology is a bridge connecting everyone with development.
This sentiment has been present during our last five years’ tenure and this is our approach to the future.
This book describes how modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, and Robotics are going to work as an aid or as a tool for development.
I can say the same thing based on my experiences. You can realize how Technological interventions have reformed and transformed governance in India in the last 5 years. I will give you an example of how all of this is happening.
The scheme to provide LPG gas connection and subsidies has been going on for decades in our country.
When we launched the Ujjwala scheme, many people thought that probably this too would follow a similar pattern as before. But we also changed the idea behind it; we changed the approach and introduced technology in it.
If we had followed the previous approach, then a committee would have been formed that would sit and talk to different stakeholders and we could have never met the deadline. But instead of the committee, we relied on the technology approach.
With the help of Data Intelligence, we first located 17 thousand existing LPG distribution centers and then created 10 thousand new centers in a very short time. We digitally mapped every village in the country for the same.
This data was analyzed for other data points, such as sale report, LPG penetration, population, and socio-economic conditions.
Based on the analysis of about 64 lakh diverse data points from lakhs of villages, the location of the distribution centers to be built was decided. But our work did not end here. There was another major problem that was solved by technology.
During the real-time monitoring of applications and distribution on the dashboard, it was found that the applications of several women were getting rejected because they did not have a bank account.
Jan Dhan Camps were organized to deal with this problem and bank accounts of such women were opened.
As a result, the target we had set for giving 8 crore connections in 3 years was achieved long before the deadline.
It was a matter of increasing access to technology. Now let me give you an example of what role technology plays in bringing behavioral change through Access. Your book has thrown light on the state of healthcare in the country. In particular, the mental block of not getting treated in our country due to poverty and lack of money.
Ayushman Bharat Yojana is playing a major role in changing this situation. Previously, the poor who used to shy away from getting treatment in the worry that everything had to be sold have started reaching the hospital. The poor people, who have been hesitant to even knock on the doors of private hospitals, are now getting access there.
Today the situation is such that there has been a behavioral change among the poor; demand for medical services has also increased; the poor people are also being treated and the hospitals are also getting money from the government. This has been possible only due to technology.
With technology, we are developing Ayushman Bharat as a complete package of healthcare.
Earlier there was no focus on Preventive Healthcare. Primary Healthcare has limited to just headaches and stomach aches and Tertiary Healthcare was on a completely different track.
Now 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers are being set up in the country and they are being developed as a base of Tertiary Healthcare.
In a very short time, more than 21 thousand such centers have also been set up so far.
You will be surprised that in such a short time, more than 1.5 crore people have been diagnosed with hypertension, more than 1.25 crore with diabetes, and more than 1.5 crores with cancer at these centers.
Earlier this was not possible in Primary Healthcare Centers. Now, these cases are being referred further from these Health and Wellness Centers, and based on that data direct and quick treatment is now possible in the Tertiary Healthcare Network.
We also get the solution for Transparency and Targeted Delivery when technology becomes a bridge. You are well aware of the role of middlemen and brokers in India.
The phrase ’Governments run the country; Middle-men run the governance,' was accepted as a rule. This was because there was a gap between the people and the process. The ordinary citizen was crushed by the long system of Certification right from birth to death.
Today hundreds of government services ranging from birth to life certificates are online. Today Self Certification is becoming the norm in the country. Now we are moving towards systems like Self Assessment, Self Declaration, and Faceless Tax Assessment.
Another example of how the effective use of technology transforms challenges into opportunities is India Post Payment Bank, India's largest network. Our Post Office service was in danger of being shut down due to the increasing proliferation of mobile and internet. Jobs of lakhs of people were under threat.
But today due to technology, Post Offices are becoming home delivery centers for Banking Services and digital transaction.
Similarly, the Common Service Center network providing online service delivery in villages is employing more than 12 lakh youth.
I also broadly agree with the suggestions given in the book to strengthen the Enterprise spirit and the MSMEs and to make them important centers of job creation. We are also making extensive use of technology to remove silos here.
You know about the Government e-Marketplace i.e. GeM for Public Procurement. It is a bridge between the government's demand and MSME's supply eco-system.
The success of this system can be gauged from the fact that this year there is a purchasing target of 50,000 crore rupees through it.
Similarly, Start-Up India is bridging local demand and supply, while Make in India is bridging local supply and global demand.
In this book, you have explained the problems in demand and supply very minutely. Start-Up India is also dealing with the same problems.
Keeping in mind the challenges in India, it is an attempt to transform the industry by incubating the ideas. This is the reason why more start-ups are coming up in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities today.
Amidst all these things, it is also true that technology is not the only solution. Human Intention and Right Intention are very important. The same applies to Artificial Intelligence as well. The debate should not be on ‘what is the danger from Artificial Intelligence?' or ‘How long would it take for a robot to become smarter than humans?'
Rather the debate should be on, ‘how do we create a bridge between Artificial Intelligence and Human Intentions?' and ’how to upgrade our skills according to new demand?'
Let AI be just another aid that is a little more sophisticated.
There is a lot to say but I have to give other people time to read the book. Once again, many congratulations and best wishes for this great book and great effort.
Source: Press Release Release ID: 1588553 Date: October 20, 2019 PIB Delhi Prime Minister's Office