‘Many people made fun of my Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision’: PM Modi at 5G launch

Published on Oct 01, 2022 12:16 PM IST

At the launch of 5G, PM Modi said in 2014, there were only 2 mobile manufacturing units and the number has crossed 200 in the last eight years.

PM Modi at 5G launch at Pragati Maidan. 
PM Modi at 5G launch at Pragati Maidan. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the 5G technology in India and said this is a major step in the vision of Digital India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat. "Many people made fun of my vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat...a handful of elite people used to think digital is not for the poor. Go see what political leaders used to say in Parliament. But I had the conviction in the inquisitiveness of the common public," PM Modi said. Talking about the 4 pillars of Digital India, PM Modi said, "We emphasised the price of the digital device, the connectivity, the price of data and the vision of digital first."

PM Modi's first-hand experience of 5G technology, courtesy Akash Ambani | Watch

“Today is a historic day for the 21st century of India as 5G technology will revolutionise the telecom sector. This is the success of digital India. Happy to see that villages could join the historical event of the launch of 5G,” PM Modi said. India will not only remain a consumer of technology but will play a major and active role in the development of the technology -- in the designing of wireless technology, PM Modi said. India is No. 2 in manufacturing mobile phones and India is also exporting mobile phones, the prime minister said adding that all these efforts have made mobile phones cheaper in India. Also Read: Bharti Airtel's 5G launched in 8 cities, to cover entire country by March 2024

'Even beggars are taking digital payment'

On a lighter note, PM Modi said he saw a video where even a beggar was taking digital payment. "See his transparency," PM Modi said as he explained how even small traders are now transacting digitally. The number of internet users in villages is increasing faster than in urban areas, PM Modi said.

'Download karenge'

Recalling an incident when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, he said he heard the word 'download' from the tribal population of a distant village and was shocked. "It was either 2007-08 or 2009-10. There was one particular area in Gujarat where I never went. I told my officials that I want to be there. But it was such an area that no development project gets launched there. A 25 lakh project of a milk chilling centre was to be inaugurated. I said I will go. People think a chief minister should not go to such small projects. But I never had such discrimination in my mind. I said be it 25,000 or 25 lakh, I will go," PM Modi said.

"At the event, I saw tribal women taking photos on their mobiles. I was so surprised. I went to them and asked them what they will do with these photos. They said, 'download karenge'. They knew the word 'download'," PM Modi recounted.

‘This is the difference between 2G and 5G’

PM Modi said in 2014, there were only two mobile manufacturing units in India. The number has now crossed 200. The cost of data has also come down as India has become self-reliant. In 2014, 1GB of data used to cost 300 but now it has come to 10. "Internet users now consume 14GB per month. This used to cost 4,200 per month in 2014. But now it costs somewhere between 125 to 150," PM Modi said.

PM Modi urged industries, and startups to explore how 5G can be brought to everyday life beyond calling and watching videos. "It should become a revolution. It should not be confined only to watching reels," PM Modi said.

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