Opportunities thrown up by technology can be harnessed only if the children in the country are made computer literate, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the discussion of roadmap for implementation of the advanced IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) in India, organised by industry body Ficci, he said a major part of problems that the country faced today can be resolved through technology.
"You can't talk of it in terms of moving from IPv4 to IPv6. The enormous opportunities that we have. 340 trillion IP addresses that we will have and we know that 3.4 billion IP addresses are not enough. So what if you provide the addresses if you do not bring digital literacy to the masses," he said.
The children have to be "tech savvy" and for that they have to be computer literate, he said, adding that if India does not have computer literate children then it will not be able to take advantage of this transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
Taking a dig at political parties, the Minister said: "Not only that, the children will be computer literate only when the political establishment understands the importance of IPv6. Do political parties in this country understand the importance of IPv6?"
"Has the industry actually gone to political parties to make them understand the importance of IPv6? Has industry done that? Have we explained as officials to our political leaders that this is necessary," he added.
The Minister also referred to the hurdles the government is facing in getting bills passed in Parliament.
"Convergence means communication between devices like your mobile, TV, etc. Now in order to do that we need to get the Convergence Bill passed. But we have hurdles before us, like somebody has to understand what it means, what it will do, the legal framework it will have. Then somebody has to understand that we should stop coming to the Well of the House on a daily basis so that legislation is passed. The political future of this country will not be built by coming to the Well of the House. It will be built by debating these issues in the House," Sibal said.
On the measures required to get the issues resolved, he said it is important to reach out to the political class.
"We will meet the challenge by first convincing our political parties and leaders that it is important to give a big thrust to IT hardware in this country," he added.
telecom secretary M F Farooqui said IPv6 requires active support and involvement of the industry.
"We are undertaking steps to increase the broadband reach from the present 15 million to 175 million by 2017 and 600 million by 2020. This together with content and application development will play a critical role," he added.