In addressing the Second United Nations World Geospatial International Congress via video message on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that India has taken steps to empower the “last person at the last mile” over the past few years, reflecting this year’s theme of “Geo-Enabling the Global Village: No one should be left behind”.
Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh inaugurated it in Hyderabad, and UN representatives and international delegates are attending, including UNGGIM Director Stefan Schweinfest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed international delegates and said, “We have been working on a vision of Antyodaya, which means empowering the last person at the last mile in a mission-oriented manner. There were 450 million unbanked individuals, a population greater than that of the United States of America, brought into the banking system, and 135 million insured individuals, approximately twice the population of France. More than 60 million households were connected to water and sanitation facilities. There will be no one left behind in India.”
Additionally, the PM emphasized the importance of technology and talent in India’s development journey. Using the example of JAM trinity to deliver welfare benefits to 800 million people seamlessly and the technology platform that powered the largest vaccination drive in history, he asserted that technology could bring about transformation.
The use of technology in India is not an instrument of exclusion. According to Modi, it is a vehicle for inclusion.
Throughout his remarks, he stressed the importance of geospatial technology in driving inclusion and progress. He emphasized that technology plays a significant role in schemes like SVAMITVA and housing and that the outcomes in terms of property ownership and women empowerment are directly related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of poverty reduction and gender equality. In addition to the PM GatiShakti Master Plan, the Digital Ocean platform also relies on geospatial technology. In citing the example of the South Asia Satellite to facilitate communication within India’s neighbourhood, Modi claimed that India has already set an example regarding sharing the benefits of geospatial technology.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister highlighted the role of talent as the second pillar in India’s journey of development. With the number of unicorn startups having almost doubled since 2021, India is one of the top startup hubs in the world, he added.
The freedom to innovate is one of the most important freedoms, stated Modi, and this has been ensured for the geospatial sector.
Now it is possible to collect, generate and digitalise geospatial data on a democratized basis. In India, 5G has taken off as a result of these reforms…Global organizations such as the United Nations can lead the way in getting resources to the last mile across all regions through drones and the opening up of the space sector for private participation.
According to the Prime Minister, technology transfer and hand-holding are also crucial in fighting climate change.
India’s science minister, Jitendra Singh, said that the country will play an increasingly important role in the global economy by 2047, and that it has jumped from rank 80 to 40 on the global innovation index over the past few years.