India and Portugal stressed the need to further explore opportunities to strengthen ties in the field of information and communication technology, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday. To fast-track the collaboration, the government is also looking to set up a working group to enhance the scope for furthering ties, which will be a follow-up of a bilateral agreement between between both the countries.
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“From cyber security to digital delivery to financial inclusion, there is a great scope of working between Portugal and India. We are very soon going to start working group between Portugal and India,” Prasad said after meeting Maria Manuel Leitao Marques, Portugal’s Minister of Presidency and Administrative Modernisation.
Prasad said the working group is follow-up of bilateral agreement signed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa. “Portugal and India have got very close relationship, extending for more than 500 years. It is a matter of great moment that present Prime Minister of Portugal also has great Indian roots,” Prasad said.
During the meeting, both Prasad and Marques discussed possible areas of mutual cooperation for both the governments in the filed of information and communication technology. India also agreed to support Portugal with capacity building to scale up mechanisms for e-delivery of governance and citizen schemes.
“We talked a lot of our mutual cooperation in the field of ICT. Portugal has good experience working in the field of IT services; pro-people app model are there. I explained to her how digital India is working. How citizens are getting engaged,” Prasad said.
Marques will deliver a keynote at the ICEGOV conference to be held between March 7– 9. Marques said it is going to be a good opportunity to speak about future and our goals are similar.
“Using ICT, using smartphones to make life easier for citizen and business, to making life happier for everybody which means inclusivity, social inclusion and financial inclusion for everybody. It’s possible now because technology is something more accessible than in the past.
She said Portugal has similar strategy as of India on the way ICT can be efficiently used to make public administration friendly for citizens and also friendly for business to improve competitiveness of Portugal, attract investments, create jobs and we have similar points where we can collaborate.