Prime Minister's Office
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

English rendering of PM’s address at silver jubilee celebrations of TRAI

Posted On: 17 MAY 2022 1:40PM by PIB Delhi

Namaskar, my Cabinet colleagues Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw ji, Shri Devusinh Chauhan ji, Dr. L Murugan ji, all the leaders associated with the Telecom and Broadcasting Sector, ladies and gentlemen!

My heartiest congratulations to all the people associated with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India - TRAI on its Silver Jubilee. What a wonderful coincidence that today your organization has completed 25 years and at the same time the country is working on the roadmap for the next 25 years and setting new goals during the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal’. A short while back I have had the opportunity to dedicate our indigenous 5G test-bed to the nation. This is an important step towards self-reliance of critical and modern technology in the telecom sector. I congratulate the IITs and everyone associated with this project. Also, I invite young friends, researchers and companies of the country to use this testing facility to develop 5G technology. This is a great opportunity particularly for our startups to test their products. Moreover, the country's own 5G standard has been developed in the form of 5Gi. It is a matter of great pride for the country. It will play a massive role in extending the 5G technology to the villages of the country.


Friends,

Connectivity in 21st century India will determine the pace of progress of the country. Therefore connectivity has to be modernized at every level. Developing modern infrastructure and making maximum use of modern technology will help in building the foundation of the same. 5G technology is also going to bring positive changes in the governance of the country, ease of living, ease of doing business and other such matters. This will boost growth in every sector like agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics. This will not only facilitate convenience but also generate new employment opportunities. It is estimated that in the coming decade and a half, 5G is going to contribute $ 450 billion to India's economy. That is, it is not only going to increase the speed of the internet, but also increase the pace of progress and employment generation. Therefore, for the rapid rollout of 5G, there is a need for concerted efforts both by the government and the industry. Our task force has already started working so that by the end of this decade we are able to launch 6G services as well.


Friends,

We are trying to ensure that our startups are ready in terms of the telecom sector and 5G technology as soon as possible and turn into global champions. We are one of the world's largest design powerhouses across multiple sectors. We all are aware of the power of India's design champions in the telecom equipment market too. We now have a special focus on easing the R&D infrastructure and processes required for the same. And you all have a major role to play in this endeavour.

Friends,

We can proudly say that our telecom sector has set a great example of how self-reliance and healthy competition can create a multiplier effect in the economy and the society. Let us look at the era of 2G. The era of 2G was all about despair, desperation, corruption and policy paralysis; whereas today, after coming out of that era, the country has moved rapidly from 3G to 4G and now 5G and 6G. This transition is happening very smoothly, with a lot of transparency and TRAI has played a very crucial role in this direction. Whenever challenges like retrospective taxation, or AGR have come before the industry, we have tried to respond with the same speed and have also made reforms wherever necessary. Such efforts built a new trust. As a result, more than 1.5 times the FDI has flowed in the telecom sector in just 8 years compared to what we used to receive for over a decade before 2014. We all have the responsibility of strengthening this sentiment of investors regarding India's potential.

Friends,

You are all well aware of the way the government has been working with a new thinking and approach all these years. Now the country is moving ahead with the 'whole of the government' approach by coming out of the ' working in silos' mindset. Today we are rapidly growing in terms of tele-density and internet users in the world. Several sectors including telecom have played a crucial role in the same. But the most important role is played by the Internet. When we came to power in 2014, we made ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and the extensive use of technology as our priority. For this, it was essential that crores of people of the country joined together and connected with the government too. Besides, all the units of the government, whether central, state or the local self-government institutions were also supposed to move together as an organic unit. We ensured that they were able to join easily at the minimum possible cost and avail government services without corruption. That's why we decided to come up with the trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile as the medium of direct governance. To make the mobile accessible to the poorest of the poor families, we have emphasized on manufacturing mobile phones in the country itself. Consequently, the mobile manufacturing units increased from 2 to over 200. Today India is the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer. And there was a time when we used to import phones for our needs but today we are setting new records for mobile phone exports.

Friends,

To expand mobile connectivity, it was imperative that calls and data were not expensive. That's why we encouraged healthy competition in the telecom market. As a result, today we are one of the cheapest data providers in the world. Today India is busy connecting every village of the country with optical fiber. You also know that before 2014, not even a hundred gram panchayats in India were connected to the optical fiber network. Today we have extended broadband connectivity to about 1.75 lakh gram panchayats. Some time back, the government approved a major scheme to provide 4G connectivity to several Naxal-affected tribal districts of the country. It is not only important for 5G and 6G technology but will also expand the scope of mobile and internet.

Friends,

With more and more Indians having access to phones and the internet, India has unlocked a huge potential. This has laid the foundation for a strong digital infrastructure in the country. This has created a huge demand for the service in the country. For example, the 4 lakh Common Service Centres have been set up in every nook and corner of the country. Today, hundreds of government services are reaching the people of the villages through these Common Service Centres. These Common Service Centres have also become a medium of employment for lakhs of youth. I went to an event in Gujarat recently. Dahod district is a tribal area. I met a 'Divyang' couple there. They were running a Common Service Centre. The man said, "I was handicapped, so I got this little help and started this". Today he is earning 28-30 thousand rupees from the Common Service Centre in a far flung village of the tribal area. It means that the citizens of the tribal area also know what these services are, how these services can be accessed, how meaningful the services are, and a differently-abled couple also serves the people in a small village there and are earning a livelihood. This is how digital technology is bringing a transformation.

Friends,

Our government is continuously upgrading the technology as well as improving the delivery system of the country. This has given an impetus to the start-up ecosystem in the country, both in service and manufacturing sectors. This is the vital reason behind turning India into the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.

Friends,

This 'whole of the government' approach is also pivotal for all our regulators like TRAI to meet the present and future challenges. Today regulation is not limited to just one sector. Technology is inter-connecting different sectors. That's why today everyone naturally feels the need for collaborative regulation. For this it is necessary that all the regulators come together, develop common platforms and work out solutions with better coordination. I am sure that an important solution will emerge out of this conference. You also need to protect the interests of the country's telecom consumers and encourage the growth of the world's most lucrative telecom market. I hope that TRAI's Silver Jubilee Conference gives impetus to the growth of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal', instils new confidence, and helps us to take a new leap for fulfilling our dreams and resolutions. With this expectation, big thanks to all of you! My best wishes to you all, thank you very much!

 

DS/LP/AK/DK



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