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New Delhi : 19.11.2015

1.I congratulate the winning teams of the Innovate for Digital India challenge on their success and for the precise presentation they have made before me today. I am happy to learn that Department of Electronics and Information Technology has collaborated with Intel India to run this competition that aims to identify, support and mentor companies with workable IT solutions to problems in various sectors like health care, education and e-governance. I am sure that the Innovative Solutions presented today would be developed to benefit the citizens of the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2.Today, India needs innovation to tackle various challenges in the fields of Education, Health care, Financial Inclusion and Service delivery. We face the challenge of scalability and mass applicability of solutions to the problems of public concern. How do we make more than one million people joining us every month not only educated but also digitally educated? How do we make them skilled for the requirement of the Industry to make them gainfully employed? How do we reach every household in rural areas to provide them affordable preventive as well as curative health care services? How do we connect small farmers, entrepreneurs in our small towns and villages with banks to enable them to participate in the economic development of the country more vigorously? And most important of all, how do we make the services that government provides to the citizen more accessible, inclusive and transparent? The solution lies in harnessing the digital revolution backed by innovations. The digital revolution has in a way decentralized the governance. One does not necessarily need a very big company or even the government to think and bring solutions to all the problems. Today, any innovation happening anywhere in the country or world can be replicated and adopted suitably on large scale. Indian civilization has been known for innovations. I am glad to see that our government has joined hand with IT giants like Intel and Academic Institutions like IIM Ahmedabad to crowd source Ideas, incubate, fund and mentor them to make them workable and replicable. Bright Idea may come from a single source, but to see it fructify into action is our collective responsibility.

Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

3.The Digital India campaign of our government aims to work on providing digital infrastructure as a service to the citizens, providing governance and services on demand and digitally empowering the citizens. These are very ambitious but desirable goals. The National Optical Fiber Network started in 2011 aims to bring broad band services to all the Gram Panchayats of the country by next year end. This connectivity will enable the hinterland of our country to become part of the digital revolution and benefit from it. Another important goal of spreading digital literacy and education to all will have to be pursued vigorously because we cannot afford digital divide in our society if we aspire to become economically stronger and inclusive. The third and most important goal of providing services on demand, will require innovation to build solutions, test them and make them popular. This certainly requires, coming together of the government, individuals, Academic and Research institutions and Entrepreneurs.

4.I am sure that the "Innovate for Digital India Challenge” will provide a platform for innovators and other stakeholders to collaborate. It will continue to bring forth affordable, workable and innovative solutions to the problems of the common man.

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

5.I wish all of you a great success in your endeavour and hope that your efforts bring happiness to lives of many.

Thank you