India adaptable, agile even amid Covid-19 pandemic: PM Modi at VivaTech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India as a nation is adaptable and agile while commending the startups and the private sector in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We in India implemented huge reforms across sectors, be it mining, space, banking, atomic energy and more. This goes on to show that India as a nation is adaptable and agile, even in the middle of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said at the fifth edition of VivaTech on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister invited the world to invest in the country as he said “India offers what innovators and investors need.” Modi invited the world to invest in India based on five pillars of talent, market, capital, ecosystem and culture of openness.

Speaking of the digital expansion in India, the PM said this expansion is being powered by creating state-of-the-art public digital infrastructure. Around 523,000km of fiber optic network already links our 156,000 villages and many more are being connected in the times to come, Modi added.

“Today India has 1.18 billion mobile phones and 75 million internet users. This is more than the population of several nations. Data consumption in India is among the highest and the cheapest in the world. Indians are the largest users of social media. There is a diverse and extensive market that awaits,” Modi said.

VivaTech, one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, is held in Paris every year since 2016. The event is jointly organised by Publicis Groupe —a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate — and Les Echos, a leading French media group.

During the virtual address Modi said that the country’s strides in the world of tech and startups are well known. Our nation is home to one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, PM said, adding that several unicorns have also come up in recent years.

Emphasizing the significance of innovation, the Prime Minister said where convention fails, innovation helps, which, he said, has been seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, the biggest disruption of our age.

India is working to nurture the culture of innovation, the Prime Minister said as he cited more than 7,000 innovation labs under the Atala Innovation mission.

“Over the past year, we have witnessed a lot of disruption in different sectors. Much of it is still there. Yet, disruption does not have to mean despair. Instead, we must keep the focus on the twin foundations of repair and preparation,” the Prime Minister said, adding to continue preparing healthcare infrastructure and economies.

He urged to insulate the planet from the next pandemic, ensure focus on sustainable lifestyle, stop ecological degradation, strengthen cooperation in furthering research and innovation. The challenges that the planet faces can only be overcome with a collective spirit and human-centric approach, Modi added, as he called upon the startup community to take the lead in global transformation. He urged the startups to explore healthcare, eco-friendly tech including waste recycling, agriculture, and new-age tools of learning.

The Prime Minister also said that India and France have been working closely on a wide range of subjects, among which, technology and digital are emerging areas of cooperation.

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