Digital Platforms Must be Responsive and Accountable; IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad

NEW DELHI: A virtual meeting of G20 Digital Economy Ministers hosted by Saudi Arabia which is holding the presidency of G20, took place here on Wednesday. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology represented India during this virtual meeting.

In the wake of global pandemic like COVDI19, Mr. Prasad strongly emphasized the need for building a resilient global supply chain and shared the vision of Prime Minister of India for making India as attractive destination for investment closely integrated with global supply chains.

The minister also told this global gathering about how India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has managed the COVID19 crisis far better than many other countries. The bold decision of the Prime Minister to go for an early nationwide lockdown helped in the country in curbing the spread of the virus as well as prepare for the upcoming challenges effectively. 

The Union Minister shared India’s digital innovations that helped in fight against COVID19. He spoke about initiatives like Aarogya Setu mobile app, geo-fencing system for monitoring quarantined patients and COVID19 Savdhan bulk messaging systems during this meeting.

He also spoke about how digital technology helped the government of India in providing relief to the economically weaker sections of society during this crisis. Using digital innovations of India like Direct Benefit Transfers and digital payments even the weakest in the society was provided various financial relief during the lockdown.

Eloquently expressing India’s commitment to leverage emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence for inclusive growth and development specially in healthcare and education, Shri Prasad emphasized the need for building trustworthy Artificial Intelligence systems that can transform the society.

The Minister specially emphasized on the data related issues and sovereign rights of countries to protect data privacy and security of its citizens. He mentioned that India is soon going to put in place a robust personal data protection law which will not only address the data privacy related concerns of citizens but also ensure availability of data for innovation and economic development.

 In view of these concerns, the digital platforms having presence in many countries must become trustworthy, safe and secure.  He told the digital Ministers of the G20 countries that it is time to acknowledge that digital platforms anywhere in the world have to be responsive and accountable towards the sovereign concerns of countries including defence, privacy and security of citizens.