IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Photo: HT
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Photo: HT

Government woos US tech companies, asks them to invest more in India

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad meets Google CEO Sundar Pichai, discusses the company's plans to enable Internet access across India

New Delhi: Showcasing business and investment opportunities in the country, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday asked US tech companies to participate in the country’s inclusive digital growth story during his visit to the Silicon Valley. He also sought views of Indian origin technocrats on possible ways to expand and energise the Indian start-up sector and cultivate innovative practices.

The technocrats include the ones working with large US tech firms such as Genpact, Intel, SAP, WNS Global Services, Mindtree and Quatrro Global. Prasad invited them to leverage their experience for helping Indian tech start-ups succeed.

In a move aimed at promoting cyber security and new technologies in India, Prasad also met some leading stalwarts and sought their cooperation in expanding India’s digital footprint.

On Wednesday, Prasad met Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, and discussed the internet giant’s plans for enabling access across India and the role of technology in empowering Indian users.

Pichai said that it was a privilege to be part of India’s exciting digital transformation.

While addressing a Seminar organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and the Consulate General of India, San Francisco on the topic “Promoting Digital India and Economic Growth" on Tuesday, which saw participation from some of the largest US firms, including Amazon, Apple, Mastercard, Qualcomm, Globall, Walt Disney, Salesforce, IVP and PayPal, Prasad briefed the participants about emerging data security issues in India. He also emphasised that the government was aware of the need of striking a balance between data availability, data anonymity, data innovation, data security and data privacy.

Reforms and growth-oriented policies of the government had created an environment conducive to business’ growth in India and made doing business in India attractive and easier than ever before, he said..

Prasad was accompanied by an Indian delegation comprising officials from the IT ministry as well as representatives from NASSCOM and Indian Cellular Association (ICA).

The US was one of India’s top five investment destinations. Quoting a survey by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in November 2017, Prasad said around 100 Indian companies had invested $17.9 billion in the US. According to the report, they also spent over $588 million in research and development and dedicated over $147 million to corporate social responsibility programmes, he added.

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