India needs to leapfrog from the world’s back office to the front-end of product development, said Jyotiraditya Scindia, the new Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology.
The two-time MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh formally took charge of his new assignment on Wednesday.
Scindia also favours further reduction in mobile telecom tariffs to ensure that benefits reach the common man. “We have to ensure that the common man not only gets a product or service but also at the best price.”
Indian mobile tariffs are already the lowest in the world, but the minister feels there is scope for further reduction.
The government recently eliminated access deficit charge (ADC), a subsidy paid by private telecom operators to state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for fulfilling rural rollout obligations. It has also opened the gates for more operators to rollout services in India and issued fresh licenses that are expected to ring in more competition and fall in tariffs.
Scindia felt there is need for India to increasingly focus on cutting-edge technology research and product development, rather than offering only back office and software programming services. “There is no reason why there cannot be semi-conductor and fab units in India,” he said.
Investments worth Rs 65,000 crore have already been proposed by Indian and multi-national firms to set up semi-conductor and other hi-tech units in the country.
He also favours a new role for post-offices in the changed economic environment.
“The post office will be the window to the world for the common man. I will try to run the post office in the same manner as my father tried to run the railways,” he said.