The world faces new risks and new forms of conflicts across diverse threats from sea-bed to cyber to space, Modi said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to all democratic nations to work together to ensure that crypto-currency does not end up in wrong hands, cautioning that it may spoil the youth.

“Take crypto-currency or bitcoin for example. It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth,” the Prime Minister said in his keynote address delivered through videoconferencing at the Sydney Dialogue hosted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“Develop trusted manufacturing base and trusted supply chains and to deepen intelligence and operational cooperation on cyber security, protect critical information infrastructure,” the Prime Minister urged the democratic countries of the world.

He further urged them to come together “to prevent manipulation of public opinions; to develop technical and governance standards and norms consistent with our democratic values; and, to create standards and norms for data governance and for cross-border flow that protect and secure data. It should also recognise national rights and, at the same time, promote trade, investment and larger public good.”

“We are in a time of change that happens once in an era. The digital age is changing everything around us. It has redefined politics, economy and society,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister listed five important transitions taking place in India.

“One, the world’s most extensive public information infrastructure being built in India. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity, six hundred thousand villages will soon be connected with broadband and the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI,” he said.

“Two, use of digital technology for governance, inclusion, empowerment, connectivity, delivery of benefits and welfare. Three, India has the world’s third largest and fastest growing Startup ecosystem. Four, India’s industry and services sectors, even agriculture, are undergoing massive digital transformation. Five, there is a large effort to prepare India for the future,” Modi pointed out.

“We are investing in developing indigenous capabilities in telecom technology such as 5G and 6G. India is one of the leading nations in artificial intelligence and machine learning, especially in human-centred and ethical use of artificial intelligence. We are developing strong capabilities in Cloud platforms and cloud computing”, he added.

Talking about the resilience and digital sovereignty of India, the PM said, “We are focusing on hardware. We are preparing a package of incentives to become a key manufacturer of semiconductors. Our production linked incentive schemes in electronics and telecom are already attracting local and global players to set up bases in India''.

He also asserted that India is committed to data protection, privacy and security. “At the same time, we use data as a source of empowerment for people. India has unmatched experience in doing this in a democratic framework with strong guarantees of individual rights,” Modi said.