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IT Minister Prasad urges telecom community to focus on content in local languages

TT Correspondent | 30 Oct 2018

Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, urged the telecom community to focus on content in local languages to boost digital inclusion in the country.

“When you are talking about mobile networking, you must focus on local content and local languages,” he said, while speaking at the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing, or Mobicon, on Tuesday. This is the first time that the event was hosted in India.

Citing a Google research, the minister said that nearly half of Indian mobile operations are inclined towards local languages. “If internet has to become truly global, it must have linkage with the local - local ideas, local cultures, local needs,” he said.

As an example of inclusion through technology, the IT minister talked about the recently launched 3 lakh Common Service Centres across India, which are digital kiosks that deliver 300 services like passport and PAN card registration, banking, and railway ticket booking.

He said that Indians staying even in the remotest part of the country must have access to governance through mobile phones. “Digital India must be based upon technology which is affordable, inclusive and developmental.”

India accounts for 10% of global smartphone sales, with 39 million units being sold between July and September 2017, the minister said, adding that even in rural areas, the consumers’ preference is shifting towards smartphones