State of the World address: PM showcases India as future tech & economic powerhouse

India's growth in next 25 years will be clean, green, sustainable and reliable: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers 'State of the World' special address at the World Economic Forums Davos Agenda, via video conferencing, in New Delhi, Monday. PTI

Virtually delivering the 'State of the World' special address to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Davos Agenda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday underlined the role played by India in handling the Covid-triggered crisis and managing the vaccination drive, while touching upon the need to reshape and restructure international organisations.

Armed with data, figure and facts on the Covid-19 pandemic, Modi presented India as not only a future technology and economic powerhouse of the world, but also showcased the country as an indispensable member of the world community.

Without naming the UN, he also demanded restructuring and reforms in international organisations.

"We have not just set a record of administering 1.6 billion Covid vaccine shots, but also stood with the countries which were in need during the pandemic. India always follows the vision of 'One Earth, One Health', and supplied Covid vaccines to more than 150 nations along with life-saving drugs," the Prime Minister said.

"India's health professionals, who are always regarded for their sensitivity, went on to win the hearts of the people. Our 5-million software professionals did not let the world stop digitally by working day and night tirelessly," Modi said in his speech.

Presenting India as one of the world's future tech and economic powerhouse, Modi elaborated the economic and tech reforms taking place in the country, saying that gone are the days when India's business space was badly disrupted by government control, as the present government has removed more than 25,000 such hurdles to start a business in India.

"Today, India is the land of more than 60,000 registered startups, 80 unicorns, country of more than 4 billion UPI transactions, and a nation with 6 lakh villages connected digitally and spending about $1.3 trillion on connectivity," Modi said.

The Prime Minister also came up with a suggestion for the world in dealing with challenges like climate change, saying that time has come for the world to start thinking about its life-style, which is damaging the global environment, whereas the Indian culture still banks on its age-old traditions of preserving the nature.

The Prime Minister underlined that India always advocates growth, which should be green, clean, sustainable and reliable.

"Through the International Solar Alliance and COP21, the world witnessed India's commitments towards saving the Earth," he said.

Without naming the UN, he said when such organisations were formed, the world was different, but now over the years, things have changed and "it is the call of the day that all the democratic countries should come together and make the changes for a better tomorrow".

Beside PM Modi, the Davos summit is also being attended by Japan PM Kishida Fumio, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Israel PM Naftali Bennett, China's President Xi Jin Ping and EU Commission chief Ursua von der leyen, along with top industry leaders, international organisations and civil society groups.

Collective global effort to deal with cryptocurrencies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that a collective global effort is needed to deal with the problems posed by cryptocurrenices.

"The kind of technology it is associated with, the decision taken by a single country will be insufficient to deal with its challenges. We have to have a similar mindset," Modi said at the World Economic Forum's virtual Davos Agenda conference.

India has been mulling virtual currency-related regulations which were widely expected to be introduced in the winter session of the parliament in December before being shelved.

New Delhi has previously flagged that it plans to ban most cryptocurrencies - a move which would follow recent measures by China that intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

India's central bank has also voiced "serious concerns" around digital currencies saying that they may impact financial stability.

There are an estimated 15 million to 20 million cryptocurrency investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees ($5.39 billion) according to industry estimates.

India is also working on signing free trade agreements with many countries, Modi added.

India recently announced a start to free trade talks with Britain with the intent of signing a deal by the end of this year.

The prime minister also said that it was the best time to invest in India because the country was willing to become a more trusted partner in global supply chain.

(With inputs from IANS and Reuters.)

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