London [UK]/ New Delhi [India] July 1 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India's Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, focussed on Shaping the Future of Digital in the UK-India relationship for The Forum: Reimagine@75 of UK-India Week.
He said: "In the era of 5G, India is now designing the infrastructure for 5G. We are very far ahead from where we were a decade ago - we are ready with Indian design and Indian-made gear. Both India and UK want to dramatically expand the innovation economy and in future, technology will be determined by collaborative efforts.
"We want to take the digital economy to be 25 per cent of the total economy. The UK government wants to expand the slice of that pie too. The data economy has also created an awareness that something needs to be done for the safety of user citizens.
"We as policymakers have to look at data from the prism of user safety. We cannot do this as India alone or UK alone. This has to be a coming together of countries with similar values. Making sure that the internet cannot be weaponised against our digital economy leads us to a conversation about whether data should be localised."
On the topic of India's growth prospects, the minister noted that India is on track to be a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025 with some firm targets set by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Future Mobility segment of the forum followed a packed day of conversations and announcements across the diaspora living bridge with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, trade updates with UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and healthcare conversations with health ministers of India and the UK - Mansukh Mandaviya and Sajid Javid, respectively.
During a session entitled "The Disruptor", author and parliamentarian Dr Shashi Tharoor reflected upon his early foray into the world of social media and how it is today a crucial part of Indian politics. In a free-wheeling conversation, he covered a range of subjects including the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He said: "Every society has to be aware of how it came to where it is today. A sense of history is important for every society. But to use history to continue to affect the present and future is unwise.
"We had 85 per cent of our defence supplies coming from Russia alone. Even though the dependence has gone down to 45 per cent now, it's still a hefty proportion. My argument is this is an unjustified war. Russia is going to emerge weakened. A weakened Russia is going to be more dependent on China, which is our principal adversary."
The forum, which concludes on June 30, included a panel discussion on digitising financial services for greater access, a look at reskilling for the 21st century and a view on resettling globalisation. A panel discussion also addressed likely directions and pivots of the global economy in the days ahead.
Addressing a session on financial services for greater access, Suhail Sameer, CEO, BharatPe said: "RBI in India is doing a good job of balancing innovation and putting the guard rails out there."
Prof. Manoj Ladwa, Founder and CEO of IGF, said: "We are proud that over the last two days, The Forum: Reimagine@75 brought together the most influential voices from both nations to discuss the way forward for both nations. It is a tribute to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship of both nations as we chart out a course for mutual collaboration and benefits.
"At IGF, we have always tried to further the UK-India dialogue and The Forum remains a landmark in our quest towards enabling the most effective and freewheeling conversations between both nations."
*Follow the action @IGFupdates #UKIndiaWeek
UK-India Week 2022 opened on June 27 with the Creative Industries and Cultural Economy Seminar at Nehru Centre, London, and has since covered the Climate Finance and Technology Summit as well as the strategic forum Reimagine@75. The week will conclude on July 1 with a glittering UK-India Awards ceremony in Windsor.
The UK-India Week is organised by IGF annually as a celebration of the myriad facets of this important bilateral relationship. The 2022 edition (27 June to 1 July) comes packed with a high-powered agenda, covering trade and economic exchanges, climate action, healthcare, technology, innovation and much more.
*The Programme for UK-India Week 2022 is here
*The full list of speakers is here.
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