Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday asked start ups to partner with the government in developing smart solutions for many of the flagship schemes that has been unrolled.
Prasad, who was addressing the Start Up Master Class event in the city, on Saturday also asked start ups to work towards creation of smart villages in line with the Smart Cities project.
The present government, Prasad said has always believed in leveraging technology for better governance. India, the minister said has the highest number of mobile phones and the present government plans to use it to deliver services. “The digital divide has to be bridged and the government has taken steps towards it,” he said.
Prasad said the government has accelerated the work towards connecting 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country through laying of optical fiber cables. “Since we have come to power 1 lakh 39,000 km of optical fiber has been laid as against the 358 km of such cable which was laid before us,” he said. The government plans to have common service centers in each and every Gram Panchyat. Such centers would help to deliver services like passport, Aadhar cards etc to the villagers. Also, banking correspondents would operate from such centers. “We want to make these centers as focal point of skill India,” said the minister.
The ecommerce boom, Prasad said has allowed the postal department to double its revenues through delivery of parcels. “The parcel revenue rose by 45 per cent in 2014-15 and it has grown by 80 per cent for the year 2015-16,” he added. The establishment of payment has seen many national and international consortiums partnering with the postal department, he said. Similarly the government aims to set up rural BPOs and has set a target of 48,000 seats to be distributed in the country. “We will give Rs 1 lakh as a subsidy for each seat,” he said.
The session also saw co-founder of Infosys NR Narayan Murthy speak about his philosophy regarding start ups. Murthy advised start ups not to mix philanthropy with business and instead asked them to identify markets properly. He asked for proper identification of market and to have ideas which can cause market disruptions.
Start ups, Murthy said should be able to achieve a stable stage within 3-4 years time failing which chances of it surviving are slim. Murthy also emphasised that although government’s help during the early stage is necessary, start ups should not depend on it solely.