Government's key focus is technology for all: Prime Minister Modi

Update: 2023-04-28 07:05 GMT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of 91 FM transmitters across 18 States and 2 Union Territories via video conferencing. (PTI)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the government is continuously working for the democratisation of technology. Speaking after inaugurating 91 new 100-watt FM transmitters spread across 18 states and two Union territories, Mr Modi said that his government is strengthening cultural and intellectual connectivity.

As part of the government’s commitment to enhancing FM connectivity in the country, 91 new 100-watt FM transmitters have been installed in 85 districts across 18 states and two UTs. With this expansion of All India Radio's (AIR) FM service, an additional 2-crore people will now be covered who did not have access to the medium. It will result in the expansion of coverage to about 35,000 square km area. Left Wing Extremism hit areas, aspirational districts and border areas of the country have been given priority for the installation of the transmitters.

The launch event was attended by chief ministers, public representatives, Padma awardees and officials from across 18 states and two Union territories. Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur joined the function from Ladakh.

At the launch, the Prime Minister said that the government is continuously working for the democratisation of technology. "It is important that no Indian should feel the scarcity of opportunity if India has to rise up to its full potential. Making modern technology accessible and affordable is key to this."

He explained this by mentioning optical fibre in all the villages and the cheapest data cost that has eased access to information. He said that this has given a new push to digital entrepreneurship in villages. Similarly, UPI has helped small businesses and street vendors access banking services.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the tech revolution taking place in the country in the past few years has fabricated radio and especially FM in a new form. Noting the rise of the Internet, he pointed out that radio has come to the fore in innovative ways through podcasts and online FM.

"Digital India has not only given new listeners to the radio but a new thought process as well," the Prime Minister said as he underlined that the same revolution can be witnessed in every broadcasting medium.

Mr Modi informed the audience that the services of DD free dish, the largest DTH platform in the country, are being provided to 4.30-crore homes where real-time information about the world is reaching the doorsteps of crores of rural households and areas nearing the border.

The PM mentioned that education and entertainment are also reaching those sections of society that have been deprived for decades. "This has resulted in removing the disparity between different sections of society and providing quality information to everyone," he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about the dimension of linguistic diversity and said that FM transmission will take place in all the languages, especially in the regions with 27 dialects.

"This connectivity does not link just the tools of communications but it connects the people too. This is reflective of the work culture of this government," he said, highlighting the emphasis on social connectivity along with the promotion of physical connectivity.

"Our government is strengthening cultural connectivity and intellectual connectivity as well," Mr Modi said.

Giving an example of making the Padma and other awards truly people’s awards by honouring real heroes. "Unlike earlier, now instead of being based on recommendations, Padma Awards are being conferred for service to the nation and society," he said.

Noting that tourism has got a boost after the rejuvenation of pilgrimages and religious places in different parts of the country, the Prime Minister said that the increasing number of people visiting tourist places is proof of increasing cultural connectivity in the country.

Giving examples of museums related to tribal freedom fighters, such as Babasaheb Ambedkar's Panchteerth, the PM Museum and the National War Memorial, the Prime Minister said that such initiatives have given a new dimension to intellectual and emotional connectivity in the country.

He underscored the emotional connection of his generation with radio. "For me, there is an added happiness that I have a relationship with radio as a host too," the Prime Minister said, referring to the upcoming 100th episode of "Mann Ki Baat".

"This kind of emotional connect with the countrymen was possible only through the radio. Through this, I remained linked to the strength of the country and the collective power of duty among the countrymen," Mr Modi said.

He elaborated on the role of the programme in initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Har Ghar Tiranga, which became a people’s movement through Mann Ki Baat. "Therefore, in a way, I am part of your All India Radio team," the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the inauguration of 91 FM transmitters advances the policies of the government that give preference to the underprivileged who have been deprived of this facility so far.

"Those who were considered to be distant will now get a chance to connect at a greater level," he said.

The Prime Minister underlined the vision and mission of all communication channels, like AIR, and said that connectivity, be it in any form, its purpose is to connect the country and its 140-crore citizens.

In his address, Mr Thakur said that the transmitters will act as conduits to carry information about the programmes and policies of the government, as well as entertainment-related content, to all corners of the country.

Mr Thakur credited the Prime Minister for his push for expansion of radio connectivity in India and acknowledged the contribution of his Mann Ki Baat programme in endorsing the importance of radio, which has been aptly captured in a survey by IIM Rohtak recently.


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