Use tech as a means to development, not destruction: PM

Last Updated 11 February 2018, 16:32 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today voiced concern over attempts to radicalise the cyberspace by jihadists and asked governments to guard against the misuse of technology, saying it must be used as a means to development, not destruction.

In a keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai on the second day of his two-day visit to the UAE, Modi rued that even after all the development, poverty and malnutrition have still not been eliminated.

"On the other side, we are investing a large portion of money, time and resources on missiles and bombs. We must use technology as a means to development, not destruction," he told the gathering that included Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the ruler of Dubai.

He expressed concern over attempts by some people to radicalise the cyberspace with the use of technology, referring to its use by jihadists to recruit cadres online.

India is the 'Guest Country' at the sixth edition of the World Government Summit, which is being attended by more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries.

"It is a matter of pride for not only me but also the 125 crore people of India that I have been called as the Chief Guest at the World Government Summit," Modi said.

He hailed the use of technology by the Dubai government, saying a desert has been transformed. "It's a miracle," he said, describing the Gulf emirate as an example for the world.

Noting that 9.5 percent of the world's population lives below the poverty line, despite the tremendous population growth, he said, "today there are great challenges... Poverty, unemployment, education, housing and human catastrophes."

"We can all overcome them through development. This is what my Government is working on using technology," he said.

Stating that his government's mantra is "sabke saath, sabka vikas", Prime Minister Modi said India has focused on the key sectors to empower its 125 crore people i.e one-sixth of humanity, contributing to the development of mankind as a whole.

In the last 25 years, maternal mortality went down by one-third in India and by half across the world, he said.

Hailing India's satellite programme, Modi said the cost of the Mars orbital programme is Rs 7 per kilometre.

"If you take a cab in India, you may pay Rs 10. But the cost of India's access to Mars is just Rs 7 per kilometre," he told the gathering, amid big applause.

Modi said that 65 percent of India's population is under 35 and the dream of a new India will be achieved by empowering the youth with technology.

"We have built a technology system so that India has become a major innovation country in business ventures," he said, adding that by 2022, the income of farmers will be doubled.

Highlighting the importance of technology, Modi said the scientific achievements like stem cells and regeneration techniques have helped in the treatment of disease and repair system for the body.

He said one aspect of the development is also that it took thousands of years from stone age to industrial revolution but after that, it took only 200 years to reach the information technology age and from there, the journey to the digital revolution was travelled in just a few years.

Modi said the ease of using technology and its spread has empowered the common man and this empowerment has been furthered by the minimum government and maximum governance.

"Technology is changing at the speed of thought. Technology has become a big medium of global change. It has empowered the common man via minimum government, maximum governance. In E-governance, the E stands for effective, efficient, easy, empower, and equity," Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that sometimes it looks like the mankind is not only making technology an instrument to conquer the nature but also making a mistake of fighting with it.

"Its cost is very high. For the future of mankind, we should not fight with nature but find a way to co-exist," he said.

"We need to follow the six Rs that stand for reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, redesign and remanufacture, this will lead us to point where we can rejoice," he said.

The Prime Minister said he assess the ongoing infrastructure and developmental projects in the country through video-conferencing every month. In this, all relevant ministries of the states and the Centre come together. This assess is named as 'Pragati' meaning progress.

"We are living in the world of inter-linked, interconnected and inter-dependent. To a great extent, our problems and their solutions are undividable. This is certain that we will have to work together to find the solution of problems that may arise in the coming decades before the world. And technology will play a big role in that," he added.

Modi arrived here yesterday on the second leg of his three-nation tour. From Dubai, Modi will travel to Oman.

(Published 11 February 2018, 10:48 IST)

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