‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ does not mean isolated India: Prasad

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said that ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ does not mean an isolated India.

Speaking at the 15th India Digital Summit, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Minister said: “Atmanirbhar Bharat means India is an active participant in the global economy. This is the crux of the whole PLI scheme. India’s time in the global electronic manufacturing has come.”

He said that India has become a hub for mobile manufacturing and this process is irreversible.

On the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, Prasad said that all the top global companies have applied for it, and committed to make mobile phones and equipment worth Rs 10 lakh crore in the coming five years, of which Rs 7 lakh crore would be for exports.

“India must become the biggest manufacturing centre in laptops, machine-to-machine equipments, tablets etc,” he said.

“I want to develop that ecosystem — from mobile phones to smartphones to laptops to tablets to M2M equipment, to IoT devices — wherein India becomes a huge centre for manufacturing these,” the Minister added.

Noting that India has become the second biggest mobile manufacturer in the world, Prasad said that it currently has 268 mobile factories, as against two factories in 2014.

Talking about Digital India, Prasad said that the initiative was consciously designed to empower the ordinary people and to bridge the digital divide and bring in digital inclusion.

“Inclusion was the hallmark of Digital India. In the last five-and-a-half years, we sent direct benefit transfer to close to Rs 13 lakh crore and saved $24 billion dollars. We disbursed close to Rs 8,000 crore to Aadhaar-enabled payments during COVID-19 and the Postal Department played a crucial role in this,” he added.