One could not help but smile at this article. Amazing double talk all this.
Indian PM’s cosying to top IT companies in the world has raised concerns not with PM critics but people from Indian silicon valley.
His warm hug of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will perhaps be the most abiding image of Narendra Modi’s visit to the Silicon Valley. But that embrace, and what it conveyed, is now becoming the subject for an intense debate among techies here. Is Modi giving in too much to the Googles and Facebooks of the world, when there is so much technology talent within India? Is he taking the easy way out by handing out critical pieces of his Digital India vision to global incumbents rather than build domestic capabilities?
“When the government wanted to build a citizen engagement platform earlier this year, they depended on Google. Now when they want Wi-Fi in railway stations, it’s again Google. These are things that can be done by our companies, otherwise we will not be able to create our own digital industry. Remember, we are the people who built Aadhaar,” said an industry veteran who did not want to be named.
Nitin Pai, co-founder of Takshashila, an independent policy research and advocacy body that provides services for government agencies, NGOs and corporations, said Modi’s team should make a careful distinction between national interest and MNCs’ commercial interest. “Many MNCs have come forward to participate in Digital India initiatives. The government will have to look at offering sufficient incentives for innovation to domestic tech companies, many of whom are coming with innovative business models,” he said.
How things go in circles really. It is always a matter of huge debate in India that what is the stance of US Presidents on Indian IT industry. The same people would usually say let competition prevail and US policy should not inhibit free market forces. However now as Indian PM reaches out to global competition, there are calls for Swadesi.