The Narendra Modi-led government is working towards bridging the digital as well as geographical divide between the Northeast and the rest of the country, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said as he released the Vision Document for Digital Northeast 2022 in Guwahati on Saturday.
The comprehensive digital plan for the Northeast emphasises leveraging digital technologies to “transform lives of people of the Northeast and enhance ease of living”. The eight thrust areas are digital infrastructure, digital services, digital empowerment, promotion of electronics, manufacturing, promotion of BPOs, digital payments, innovation and start-ups and cyber-security.
Prasad, the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, claimed that though the people of the Northeast always had a complaint that “Delhi was afar”, after the Modi government took over “Delhi has come down to the Northeast” and that has enhanced the development of the region.
He highlighted that the motto of the government was “reform, perform and transform” and it was working to bridge the gap between “digital haves and have-nots” and improve digital inclusion. Digital India, Prasad said, was a “mass movement”.
Prasad also spoke on Aadhaar and displayed his own card during his speech. He said that the Aadhaar number does not document anyone’s race or religion and hence no profiling can be done based on that.
“Aadhaar is completely safe and secure,” he said, highlighting that linking bank accounts for direct payment of subsidies and MNREGA have helped saved around Rs 90,000 crore by avoiding the middleman.
The event saw the release of several web-based services in the eight northeastern states. Foundation stones were laid in Guwahati for two electronics manufacturing units — which will manufacture electric meters and LED and solar products — and a common facility centre called Start-up World of Innovation in Future Technologies. The CMs of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura attended the programme while the other states were represented by senior ministers and officials.