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New Delhi: India is working on a vision of Antyodaya, which means empowering the last person at the last mile, in a mission mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the inaugural of the second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC), in Hyderabad on October 11.

PM Modi said about 450 million unbanked people, a population greater than that of the US, were brought under banking net and 135 million people, about twice the population of France, were given insurance. Sanitation facilities were taken to 110 million families and tap water connections to over 60 million families, he added, underlining that “India is ensuring no one is left behind."

He said technology and talent are the two pillars that are key to India’s development journey. Technology brings transformation, the prime minister said, citing the example of JAM trinity which has delivered welfare benefits to 800 million people seamlessly and of the tech platform that powered the world’s largest vaccination drive. “In India, technology is not an agent of exclusion. It is an agent of inclusion."

He highlighted the role of geospatial technology in driving inclusion and progress. The role of technology in schemes like SVAMITVA and housing, and the outcomes in terms of property ownership and women empowerment, have a direct impact on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on poverty and gender equality, PM Modi emphasized.

The PM GatiShakti Master Plan is being powered by geo-spatial technology, as is the Digital Ocean platform, he added. India has already set an example in sharing the benefits of geo-spatial technology, the prime minister said, citing the example of the South Asia Satellite for facilitating communication in India’s neighbourhood.

The five-day conference is scheduled from 10-14 October, and has been convened by the UN committee of experts on global geospatial information management and hosted by the Department of Science and Technology.

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