Microsoft said that the company was keen on collaborating with the Indian government in providing last mile internet connectivity especially through the White-Fi technology. The IT & Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad felt that Microsoft can do a pilot on this before rolling it out.
CEO of the Microsoft Corporation Satya Nadella expressed his company's concern during the meeting with Prasad in New Delhi. The minister further shared with Nadella the Digital India initiative taken by this government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told Microsoft CEO that Digital India is designed to bridge the gap between haves and have-nots.
The government is committed to roll out the National Fiber Optical Network (NOFN) and digitally connect all the 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats of India. The government is pushing for setting up Wifi networks at public places, universities and tourist places. The minister shared with him India’s potential in the field of e-commerce and how connectivity can play a role in harnessing this potential.
The new government is augmenting its network of 1.5 lakh Post Offices to spur the growth in eCommerce. Government is committed towards digital empowerment of citizens through the National Digital Literacy Mission and Common Service Centers.
The minister shared his dream of seeing digitally empowered women from the dalit community running Common Service Centers. He requested Microsoft to contribute in making this dream true. The minister further urged Microsoft to work toward digital literacy in India. To this Nadella informed the minster about various initiative taken by Microsoft for promoting digital literacy like project Shiksha, project Jyoti, project Saksham etc.
Nadella told the Minister that Microsoft understands and respects these concerns. Microsoft will place the servers in India and also assist the government in providing technological wherewithal for securing this huge data. The minister also informed Microsoft CEO about the incentives for promoting electronic manufacturing in India as part of Make in India.
Nadella felt that data centre investment is a great opportunity in India and Microsoft will consider about electronic manufacturing with this perspective.