Expressing concern over global investment into missiles and bombs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday warned against the misuse of technology, saying it must be used as a means to development and not destruction.
The prime minister, who is in Dubai for the second leg of his three-nation West Asia tour, delivered the keynote address at the sixth World Government Summit in Dubai, which is being attended by more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries. It is Modi's second state visit to the UAE since August 2015.
In his speech, Modi said that technology is changing at the speed of thought and that it is becoming a beacon of disruptive change.
"Technology has empowered the common man," however, despite all the development, Modi said that poverty and malnutrition have still not been eliminated.
"On the other side, we're investing large amounts of money, time and resources on missiles and bombs. We will have to stay alert and use technology as a means to development and not destruction," Modi said, adding, "Some people are radicalising cyberspace with the use of technology... the cost of misuse of technology is very high."
Reiterating the benefits of technology to the common man, Modi said, "It has empowered the common man through minimum government and maximum governance. In e-governance, the 'e' stands for effective, efficient, easy, empowered, and equitable."
Modi also recommended a path of "six R's" for the world to follow for progress. "We need to follow the six R's which stand for reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, redesign and remanufacture, which will lead us to rejoice," Modi said in Dubai.
The prime minister also spoke of the Startup India initiative. "We have created an innovation ecosystem in India through the Startup India programme. India has become a start-up nation," he said. Watch the full speech here:
Speaking of the role of the youth, Modi said, "Sixty-five percent of India's population is under 35, the dream of a new India will be achieved by empowering the youth with technology."
Modi hailed the implementation of Aadhaar cards to provide over 400 schemes to the public. He said that the government's use of technology aligns with their mantra of "sabka saath, sabka vikas".
"With Aadhaar card, over $8 billion worth of leakages have been plugged in India," Modi said in his speech. He also spoke of a "digital payment and cashless revolution" occurring in India, adding that GST has become a reality in the country. Modi also told the audience that India is aspiring to assume a leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology, cybersecurity and cloud computing.
In a point reminiscent of his speech in Davos, Modi spoke of the need of coexistence with nature. Modi also spoke about India's efforts to harness solar energy. "The sun is the soul of the world.... India has set a target to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy. In the last three years, 62 GW renewable energy generated. I feel that the next technology revolution will be linked to the power of the sun," Modi said.
Modi also hailed the Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), saying that India's satellite programme crossed the century mark, with some of the lowest costs in the world. "If you travel by taxi, the cost of your ride would be Rs 10 per kilometre, but in the Mars mission, it was just Rs 7 per kilometre," Modi said about the ISRO mission, adding that it cost "less than the budget of a Hollywood film".
The prime minister said he assesses the ongoing infrastructure and developmental projects in the country through video-conferencing every month. In this, all relevant ministries of the states and the Centre come together. This assess is named as "pragati" after the Hindi word for progress. "We are living in the world of inter-linked, inter-connected and inter-dependent. To a great extent, our problems and their solutions are undividable. This is certain that we will have to work together to find the solution of problems that may arise in the coming decades before the world. And
technology will play a big role in that," Modi said.
Modi concluded by saying that India is focusing on the key sectors of today to empower its 1.25 billion population, which constitutes one-sixth of the humanity. "We are contributing to the development of mankind as a whole," he said.
The prime minister was greeted by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan after concluding his keynote address at the summit. The Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was also present to mark the occasion. According to NDTV, Modi also met the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Isakov on the sidelines of the Dubai World Government Summit.
Modi is scheduled to leave for Muscat, Oman on Sunday evening.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 18:34 PM