India on Friday invited Russia to leverage the potential of its booming digital economy, with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying that collaboration in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and e-health would spur technology momentum of both the economies. Prasad said India is pushing its digital economy to touch USD one trillion mark in coming 3-4 years, leading to opportunities in areas like IT, e-commerce, communications and electronics manufacturing.
Terming Indo-Russian relationship as one of “trust, understanding and reciprocity”, Prasad said the two sides had a common world view on a variety of matters and that ties have remained immune from the political changes and other differences.
“Indeed, it has acquired a new momentum because of personal chemistry and understanding between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Prasad said addressing India Russia Business Summit organised by industry body CII. Highlighting India’s strength in skilled manpower and innovation and Russia’s technology prowess, Prasad said India too offers a vast potential in emerging areas like AI, e-healthcare and e-education and the booming startup ecosystem.
“When I talk of digital economy, it has already acquired a momentum of its own and is creating an opportunity for industrialists, IT experts, IT professionals and start ups…India is a big startup movement with over 5,000 start ups. All this presents a larger narrative….I request all of you to join in India’s digital economy,” Prasad said.
He noted that the success of India’s IT industry is backed by skilled talent and low-cost inclusive technology. The mobile phone base in the country stands at 1.21 billion with 450 million smartphones, Prasad said, adding that 1.22 billion Aadhaar cards offered residents a verifiable digital identity.
“Indo-Russian relationship offers a great opportunity to work together. Russia has outstanding people, innovators…India is also a land of innovators and human resource including young IT graduates…If we have this kind of collaboration and cooperation, Indo-Russian relationship will acquire a technology momentum of its own,” the minister said.