Speaking at a startup awards event organised by the Economic Times, the union minister for law & justice, communications, electronics and information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Indian startups need to focus on creating and improving inclusion through technology.
The event also saw the union minister for railways, and the minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal talk about the inclusion created by the penetration of technology beyond the cities.
Talking about how tech needs to create inclusion by looking at the problems from a human point of view, Prasad said that “I want to tell something to startups. Never ignore the facet of inclusion. Indians love technology. You will never succeed in India without compassion.”
The minister also highlighted that in the last four years, more than 200 BPOs have come up in the small towns, which is bringing more tech awareness to these areas.
Backing Prasad’s statement about tech in smaller towns, Goyal said more than 20% of the 20K startups are in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities due to the rapidly growing digital access. “The digital access in the last five years has been quick. From 357 km in 2014 to over 3 lakh km now, fibre optics connectivity is huge,” he added.
Addressing the economic slowdown, Goyal said, “You can not certainly expect from us the kind of stimulus that the earlier finance minister made. It was disastrous and the country had to pay heavily. That kind of stimulus to my mind is counterproductive.”
Goyal also added that the government does not want the stimulus package to be misused. The government believes in “fiscal prudence and ease of doing business.” He assured that the government’s policy and tax proposals will be structured in a way to not hamper businesses.
Further Prasad announced that 200 railway stations under Southern Western Railway (SWR) are provided with a free Wi-Fi connection for public use. By September 2, internet speed at public Wi-Fi hotspots at stations will be increased.
“There are 6500 railway stations in India. We are going to do this in all railway stations in the country. The idea is people in villages can hop into railway stations and get connected to the world,” he added.