Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on G20, PM Modi's Vision & Chandrayaan-3 | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 35 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on G20, PM Modi's Vision & Chandrayaan-3 | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 35".


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Intro (00:00)

Cybersecurity is like terrorism. You have to be good on every day. Yes. And the bad guys have to be good just one day. Just one day. We will do in the next 10 years what China has spent $200 billion and could not do the last 20 years. We were nothing in electronics in 2014. Right. We were importing all our phones. Phones, right. And today we make all our phones in India. Right. We were exporting zero. I always said zero, but that's not enough. That is our exports. And today we are exporting one lakh crores. There is a history of Indian semiconductors which if today somebody publishes as a history book, it will make a lot of people blush. I see. It will make a lot of people embarrassed and deeply ashamed that they let down our country like this repeatedly over the many years. Rajiv, Shrindrajakarji, thank you so much for being on the Abhijit Chaudha Podcast and thank you for hosting me. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Absolutely, sir. So, sir, there is a lot I would like to talk about, but we will focus on a few things. Right now, the G20 summit is coming up.

Discussion On Tech Policy, Cybersecurity And Digital India

G20 Summit (00:59)

So, what is the role of the ministries you are holding in the G20 summit and what should we look forward to? Look, we don't have a particular role in the hosting of the G20. But one of the clear conversations that the G20 countries have had over the last one year under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presidency has been the power of technology to transform lives of people. And you know, the narrative discourse around technology used to be always about innovation, about the next unicorn or the billionaires or the big essays of the world or the big techs of the world. But India has really, in a lot of ways, brought into the G20 this very, very compelling narrative about how technology can change the lives of people, can transform governance, can bring trust at an unprecedented levels between government and citizen or lack thereof if there is no trust. So, I think that DPI story of India, how Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a way has transformed the narrative of dysfunctional governance in India, which was the story about India for 65-70 years, all that has been turned on its head by saying, here is this country that has seemingly taken an impossible dysfunctional governance of a large democracy and made it this very responsible, very responsive, very modern, very fast respond acting technology driven government and governance at this scale. Yes. If it was a small country, fine people would say, okay, good idea, good story. But that a country, a big elephant that was going in a particular direction of dysfunctionality has been turned around and that elephant is today pounding the pavement, if you want to call it that, and demonstrating growth and progress at a level that the world is admiring. That certainly has got everybody's attention in the G20 and that we have deployed technology not to cause any harm, but really to do good, which has always been the underlying story of technology, but has always been, has buttered heads with in a way, with all the harms that have come about in the previous few years about technology in general. Right. So, we are offering the India Stack architecture to the entire world, essentially to the global south. Yes. In what ways can they benefit from it? Look, I think the challenges that India had for the last 65 years, if you want to call it challenges or the dysfunctionality is the same thing that many countries deal with, which is, but maybe at a smaller scale, which is how do you take governance to the remotest parts of an island nation, which has 25 islands and there are sparsely inhabited habitations, how do you take governance there? This is not an unusual use case about how do you build these bridges between government and state capitals on one hand and a distant citizen on the other hand. And in the past, this used to take all kinds of physical intermediation, a government office that requires cost, then you need people there to man those offices, then you have the issue of integrity of those people who are dealing with the monies of citizens. So, all of that model has now been collapsed into these powerful technology pipes, technology bridges, which we refer to as India Stack and now we rebranded as India DPI, which even for a small country is of great interest to them because they also want to save the money on the offices, they also want to create direct bridges between government and the citizen. So, India is in a lot of ways showing this example of how even the remotest community today is connected to Delhi or connected to their state capital, not because of big buildings or many many offices, but because of technology. So, you took over the ministries, the portfolios that you have in 2021, what were the main focus areas that you had? Look, I think really the vision of continuing to propel Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision that India needs to continue to deploy technology to improve the lives of our citizens. That is one goal he has put down as a marker firmly. The second is that we need to create more and more innovation in our country and that the digital economy must grow as a pie of the GDP. We were 4% in 2014, we are about 11% today and we will be 20% of the GDP by 2026. So, growth of that digital economy automatically means for younger and younger Indians more and more opportunities at startups, entrepreneurship, innovation. And so, in a lot of ways, the Digital India program has done what we have never been able to do for 30, 40, 50 years, which is youngsters are now economic participants and are contributing to creating economic activity and wealth at a rate unprecedented in the history of India. Right. Otherwise, remember, the narrative about the youth was, 'Yea, job they can get. They will go looking for jobs. They will seek jobs. They are essentially constantly job seekers. But in a space of 5 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the narrative of youth into not just about job seekers. Of course, there are many youth who want jobs and they will continue to get jobs. But to a large number of them creating jobs, creating investments because of the innovation, creating economic activity and growth. So, this is an unprecedented time for the youth to be almost like an important part of the journey of India. So, that is the second. And the third important goal that was clear to me in 2021 was that India for many, many decades used to consume technology. Yes. We were buying everything. I mean, the laptops and the hardware and the software and everything came from abroad. And we were essentially doing some IT, ITS work, which is also a good thing. We were doing services and supporting other people's IP. Prime Minister was very clear that we have to move, transform India into being a designer, architect, owner of products, platforms and solutions and devices. And today when you look at Chandrayaan, it is an amazing but real manifestation of that vision of our Prime Minister in 2015, which is that you have semiconductors in Chandrayaan's Vikram Lander that are designed and developed and manufactured in India. We have software and subsystems that are designed, developed and manufactured by MSMEs and startups. So, I mean, today when the world looks at Chandrayaan, it is not just about, oh, we are the fourth largest, fourth country to reach the moon or the first country to reach the south of Dhoda, an important milestone. But that country could pull off such a complex project, such a sophisticated project that is at the intersection of science and engineering. And can do it successfully and do it in a way that is not just rivaling, but it is surpassing the other actors in the space. It is a testimony to the deep capabilities and technologies and project management that the last 5 to 9 years have created in our country. So, the third promise of it is that India will not just be a consumer, India will be Atmanirbar Bharat and a producer of the next generation of cutting edge technologies. We are well on our way to achieve that. Right. Atmanirbar Bharat is extremely important. And I always say on my channel that whether it is space or it is quantum or it is artificial intelligence, the nations that will lead the world in these fields in the 21st century are the nations that will essentially decide the future of humanity. Absolutely. So, where are we on these? You are absolutely right, Abjit, because I think there are two trends that I am sure your audience knows, you certainly know, that a) digitization and technology are going to be increasingly bigger, bigger pieces of what the global economy is going to look like. And our lives are going to look like. I mean, we are going to be much more digitized than ever before in the coming years.

Indias Responsible Gov. & Understandable Future (09:01)

The economy is going to be much more digital led in the coming years. And it used to be the case that technology used to be the property of or the preserve of a few countries. Yes. I think it is clear now with the agreements that India has with the US recently signed with the Prime Minister's historic visit, with the agreements that India has with the EU and the Technology Trade Council agreements, India's agreements with Japan on semiconductors and critical technologies. And this basically means that the future of tech, which as I have already said is so important for our future in general, the future of tech will no longer be architected by one or two countries or one or two companies, but it will be by a group of countries that have similar values, similar thinking about technology benefiting people at large. And certainly India is going to be in that leading pack of nations, whether India will be with one other country or two other countries or three other countries, that only time will tell and the future will tell.

The Semi-Conductor Challenge (10:04)

But certainly our ambition as a country, that this ambition that has been very clearly articulated and drummed into our heads by our leader, our Prime Minister, is that we have to be at the cutting edge of the future of tech. So if it is AI, if it is semiconductors, if it is microelectronics, it is the internet with 6G, it is IoT and industrial automation, industry 4.0, all of these areas, we have to not just say that we will import substitute, but that we have to be at the cutting edge of innovation and that people have to respect us not just from our capability to ideate and to execute, but also to ideate, execute and deliver innovation. And so that is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021 on Independence Day said, the next decade is going to be called the India decade. And he said that this India decade is going to be a decade of technology opportunities and that decade or that India decade will be in a sense architected by and built by young Indians from all over the country. So his vision of the place for India in the future of tech, his vision for the place of India in the future of global economy, he is already very clear, he said we want to be the third largest economy in the next three years. And his future that this future of India, his vision that this future of India will be in a large part, built by the energy and the capabilities of our youngsters is also very clear. So that makes the job of people like me in the ministry or and many of my colleagues in the council of ministers that much easier because we know exactly what his goals and ambitions for New India is, what his thinking is and it is for us to deliver. Right. Let's take semiconductors for example. By 2030, hopefully we should be a major powerhouse in semiconductor manufacturing. How are we going about doing this? So a good question, Abhijit, and you know, I am sure you know very clearly that semiconductors is not an overnight game. No, it's not. And especially in the Indian context because we have had about 70 years or 65 years of missed opportunities. Yes. There is a history of Indian semiconductors which today somebody publishes as a history book. It will make a lot of people blush. It will make a lot of people embarrassed and deeply ashamed that they let down our country like this repeatedly over the many years. I see. There were so many opportunities that this country had. So many companies that came to us all the way back from 1957. Okay. And as recently as 2012. But the governments, the political leadership of the time did not have the vision, did not have the sense, did not have the instinct to understand how important technology is in particular in general and how important semiconductors would be in particular. Okay. It is in 2021 that Prime Minister post-COVID, as we were coming out of COVID, understood and very quickly, with very little marketing from us in the ministry, supported our endeavor and set out the semiconductor policy. And it has got $10 billion, 76,000 crores of funding, which is to be applied to incentives for manufacturing, incentives for packaging units, incentives for design and innovation, and incentives and funding for research and capability development and skills. And that I think is adequate capital. And I say to people that, and I make this, it is not an empty promise or an empty thread, I am not used to that, is that we will demonstrate to the world that in the next decade, we will, with this type of capital and with our innovation and ingenuity that we already have, we will do in the next 10 years what China has spent $200 billion and could not do in the last 20 years. Fantastic.

RISC-V AI (14:05)

Okay. So, we clearly know, and you already see the first marker on the ground with the Micron Memory Packaging Unit in Gujarat. Already there are 30 design startups that are doing chip design. The, like I told you, the Vikram Lander chip was designed, was done by a CL. The Navik chip was done by, again, a partnership between the government and a private sector company that will soon propel and fire up all the GPS systems and all the smartphones and smart devices. Okay. Yeah. So, that is already done. Okay. And we have, like I said, another 20 to 25 Indian startups doing chip design in a spectrum of applications ranging from AI compute to sensors to wireless to automotive. So, a whole spectrum of very ingenious work that has been done. We have also, as a government of India, fully supported the RISC-V, independent open source, independent instruction set architecture of RISC-V and created an Indian framework called the DIR-V, the Digital India RISC-V program, which is being lead managed by Professor Kam Kotee, the director of AI in Chennai. He is the chief architect of it. And we have a program manager in the CEDAC, which is the Center for Development of Advanced Computing in the Government of India, who is the program management of the DIR-V. So, we see at least 6 to 10 devices, chips coming out of there and taping out by mid to end of 2024. I see. Yes. AI is a big thing now. Yes. It's been a perfect storm of computing power and data sets, large data sets. Correct. What is India doing to be the leader in this? Good, extremely good question. India's focus, our prime minister's focus on AI is very medium to long term. So, we are not getting distracted by all the buzz around chat GPD. And everybody today is very fashionable to talk about AI. We are very laser focused on our mission, which is to create, build the most complex and diverse data sets program, which will be under our entire effort is called the India AI program. And we will have a global summit, just like we have semiconductors, which will become a must attend program for AI in October of 2023. That will be the first edition of it. So, the pieces are we will do the India data sets program that is already underway. And the India data sets program will be complemented by AI compute capacity that we are also asking the government to support financially. We will create significant AI compute capacity for startups to use, so that they are not limited by that. Okay. And most importantly for you and your audience to understand, our focus is as much about applications of AI as opposed to just building these large language model, the foundational model and demonstrating some capability. Of course, AI research is going to be a prime focus, but we are really also equally focused on creating AI talent and creating a curriculum that encourages AI talent to be created up by our educational system. But focusing on healthcare, governance, and automotive and autonomous vehicles. Many of these areas we are focusing on from an application standpoint. We want to create more and more startups that will build AI applications and AI innovation. Yes, we also want our own sort of marker on the ground about, you know, like charge GPD and generative AI and LLMs and foundational model. But equally focused is our effort to create an innovation ecosystem that is really creating cutting edge applications that are powered by AI and AI models. So, we are interested in the applications as much as we are interested in the underlying models and the underlying data sets that train the models. Right. Another very important emerging technology is quantum computing. Absolutely. And there are certain countries that seem to have cracked quantum supremacy. Where are we in this? No, so this certainly, look, it will seem to people that we are behind the curve because, you know, Google talks about quantum and other countries talk about quantum a lot. But I don't believe that. I think, you know, the government of India, the prime minister has recently sanctioned a significant amount of money of almost 8,500 crores for a quantum mission. I think we are at the starting stage pretty much with all the other countries of the world. You can argue that somebody has a six month head start on also three month. But our capabilities and our view and vision of quantum and where we want to get on quantum are very, very clearly defined. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that in the area of quantum, especially with the partnerships in ICET with the US and other countries that we have signed and our growing capabilities in semiconductors and in compute, that quantum is certainly in the India decade road. Now, I don't want to tell you anything about specific milestones about we will have the first quantum computer on so on, so so on, so date, etc, etc. But I can tell you that the lot of work and there is a very, very healthy and fast growing community of researchers and innovators in the quantum space, which is really the seed capital, if you want to call it, for a quantum ecosystem. Right. Another thing that we obviously need to focus on is cyber security and data primacy and all that. So what is the world?

Cybersecurity & Cyberharm (19:47)

Look, cybersecurity is an issue that worries countries and governments all around the world. You know, cyberspace has no borders. You cannot unless you're a China and you sort of firewall your entire country. Most open democracies and liberal countries like ours, we operate the free on open internet. And our view in policy making around the internet is driven by what the Prime Minister said is about safety and trust. Okay. And safety and trust, the corollary of that or the reciprocal concept is cyber security and cyber harm. So we are deeply concerned and of course, the legislative framework, we will be laying out very clearly the end of this, end of this month is already also early part of September through the Digital India Act. It will be a completely revamped modern approach towards addressing the issues of harms and securities for an individual or business on the internet. But the deep tech capabilities required to manage malware libraries and manage responses and remediation of ransomware attacks and deliberate breaches is something that we have slowly and steadily built considerable amount of capacity for in India. Okay. And, but, you know, cyber security is like terrorism, you have to be good on every day. And the bad guys have to be good just one time. So in a lot of ways, this is an area that we are very focused on. But in India, there is a particular unique challenge that we have because the nature of cyber security is that the criminal is in one jurisdiction, the crime is in a second jurisdiction and the victim is in a third jurisdiction usually. Yes. They don't have all happen next door to each other. But given the law and order in India as a state subject, it certainly makes very difficult to identify, investigate and prosecute cyber fraud, cyber crimes. Because the victim may be in Bengaluru, the criminal may be in some other state and the bank account or whichever else, which is the target of the crime is in a third state. Now, three police officers and three police jurisdictions have to cooperate, collaborate and cooperate. And in many states, unfortunately, cyber crime continues to be low on the priority because of the undermanning of the police station and the police forces.

Exploiting Rational Choice (22:17)

Because for them, violent crime, rape, safety, law and order, murders, these are all much more higher precedence than somebody losing 1 lakh rupees or being fished for his account or the same being fixed for his data.

Lack of awareness on cybercrime- Jithender (22:32)

So we have a lot of work to do. We have these yearly, every year, twice a year, we have meetings with the IT ministers of various states. And we are increasingly trying to sensitize every state government that while there is normal conventional crime, that crimes on the cyberspace equally impact citizens and they must build their capabilities and capacities to investigate every reported crime. Otherwise, you will have a situation where people lose faith in the ability of the local police to investigate and prosecute those cyber crimes. And therefore, that will just keep increasing because people think that cyberspace is a space where the law, arm of the law does not reach. And therefore, people who violate the law have a free pass. So that perception is a dangerous perception. In some states, it works very well. Many state police departments are very, very active and have very well developed tools and systems to sort of mitigate cyber crimes and cyber fraud. But many state governments don't. And so what the criminals do, they use those jurisdictions to operate, knowing fully well that they are in some sort of a safe haven or let's say, safe for haven. So is there a case for creating a separate police force for cyber police? No, look, we can't do that. We live in a democracy, where federal democracy, states have law and order as decided by the Constitution. And therefore, I think this is really about creating more and more awareness. I think more and more people, more and more champions like you, when you start talking to your own state governments and say, look, we are not happy with the kind of preparation or the readiness that you have in protecting citizens in the cyberspace against cyber crimes. Even though the law provides for it, then then governments will start responding. Right. Social media has to really unify India for the first time in a thousand years, maybe. And everybody is on a foreign social media platform. So how do we get these foreign social media platforms to abide by our rules? We know what happens with Twitter and all that. So how do we do that? So first of all, they have to abide by the rules. I think if there is anybody who is foreign and he is big tech and thinks that the laws of India don't apply, they have been reminded recently on many occasions that the laws of India do apply. And I'll give you two examples. Twitter has got that message. Meta, which is the other large social media company, certainly has got clear messages from the courts and the system at large. There is no duality about the compliance with the Indian law. We saw the big company like Google being prosecuted for by the Competition Commission and its order being upheld by the NCLEAD on unfair market power being used by platforms. So it is clear now even to the biggest of the lot that in India, there are certain rules and laws that have been developed to protect the citizen. There are rules and laws to protect and develop these small businesses. And that regardless of how fancy your company is and where your headquarter or what your accent is or what capabilities you have at the bottom or at the end of the day, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be underlanting in terms of the compliance of the law. We don't expect anything else from them. We don't want them to send me Diwali baskets or any of that. We certainly expect only from them one thing that the laws that have been designed to protect the Indian citizens must always be complied with. So do we have new laws that deal with social media? So the first piece of this global, modern legislative framework that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is building is the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. That certainly will put a break on all these platforms who are misusing personal data and exploiting personal data. It will create deep behavioral changes and like using the word symmetry. There used to be an asymmetry between these big guys and the Indian citizen and they could take any data, they could use it for any purpose and the poor citizen would never be even aware of it. And that symmetry and that deep behavioral change will be brought in by the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. The bill has at its heart the government's intention to protect the citizen and of course give the innovation ecosystem the legitimate lawful uses of personal data. The second piece of the legislative framework that the Prime Minister has envisioned is the Digital India Act. And that act is ready. It is ready for consultation and it will be out there in the public domain very shortly. That talks about the broader principles of openness, free and fair competition. It talks about user safety and trust. That talks about harm, criminality in extensive ways. It talks about accountability if you have a problem with the platform, what is legally provided in terms of making them accountable to you. It also recognizes that the internet today is a very different internet from 20 years ago. We have a large number of very different intermediaries. There are e-commerce guys, there are AI guys, there are social media guys, there are constant managers, there are different types of intermediaries with very different functionality. And who need to be regulated differently. There is no point regulating an e-commerce guy like you will regulate a social media guy. There is certainly no way of regulating a social media guy the way you regulate an edutec platform for children. So, we have in a sense designed or created an architecture of the internet which recognizes that there are very diverse and different types of intermediaries that need to have very different thresholds of regulation and compliance. One of the issues with social media is misinformation. That can be used to actually influence elections and get into interference. How does India deal with that? This is a very good question, Abhijit and I think more and more youngsters and more and more people who get into this conversation and narrative is very important. Misinformation is no longer some innocent, aberrational behavior. These are all very deliberate, conspiratorial, state actor led types of offensive cyber attacks. And misinformation is no longer just innocent slip of the tongue, mannequoj, boldiya, galti se, it's no longer that. It's all very, very, very deeply planned types of machinations. We saw recently, Kalistani elements with a thousand accounts. Washington Post reported that story, how they were creating a narrative with misinformation about how the government of India is perpetrating violence on a particular community in Punjab. They were all lies and the misinformation was inciting violence against people of the Indian government.

Online gaming, dating apps, and whats online and whats not is regulated (29:34)

So, misinformation today is a weaponized form of user harm. It is a harm because we want people to go to the internet. 1.2 billion Indians who use the internet should be able to look at the internet, look at some information there and say, "Haha, I trust it." Now, what is happening is if you go to the internet, you don't know what is fake, what is right, who is saying it decides whether it is right or wrong. And you are constantly being second-guessed on what is correct and false. So, therefore, we believe the internet should be safe and trusted. Why that is so important for India is, India is not, everybody is not a PhD and a master's in digital technology. We have people using the internet that are far remote parts of India who may not be digital literate, who may just be using the internet for their pensions, for their subsidies, for education, for skilling. And if they are targeted for misinformation, they can suddenly get very angry, get upset. We saw this in Manipur. There were some people trying to do misinformation with the army officers and their identity. So, we think misinformation is a very, very big issue on the internet. And the Digital India Act, certainly in the IT rules, we have created a framework to outlaw misinformation. In the Digital India Act, we will be a lot tougher about everything that represents harm, everything that represents cyber criminality. Okay. Another two categories are online dating sites or apps and online gaming. How do we regulate those? So, they are, like I said, the Digital India Act will recognize different types of intermediaries. So, dating apps will be, matchmaking apps will be a different type of intermediary. And they will have different regulations that we will create in consultation with the National Commission of Women, National NCPC, the National Commission on Protecting Child Rights, and with the Home Ministry. Right. Saying that if you are a dating app, it should not be a cover for something illegal. Right, yes. You cannot be suddenly undertaking prostitution on one hand by calling yourself a dating app. Or the flip side, you cannot be misleading and scamming gullible people on the dating sites with money or anything else. So, there will be a set of regulations for dating sites, dating intermediaries. Right. Similarly, for online gaming, we have already carved out the framework. It is already notified as in rules under the current act of the IT Act. But we think we will go further in the DIA and create a framework that will effectively define what is good gaming and what is outlawed gaming. Okay. And that is essentially how we are regulating gaming. We are saying there is permissible online gaming, which is what is non-addictive, does not include gambling, does not involve gambling and does not have any other harm in the game of creating insight, inciting violence against a particular community or a particular gender. If you don't have harm, you are not addictive and you don't involve gambling, you are today permitted on the Indian internet. If you violate one of these three, you are not permitted on the Indian internet. Okay. How do we know what is addictive and what is not? Yeah. So, therefore, good question. We have come up with the concept of having these self-regulatory bodies, which will comprise of number of people including lawyers and let's say child rights people, child protection people, teachers, parents, and the gaming industry. And they will time to time evolve the jurisprudence of the framework of what is addictive or not addictive. Okay. Is it just about limiting access to so many hours or is it about the content that you will look at? That is something that the government will not prescribe. It is for something that these SRBs, the self-regulatory bodies with these membership will continuously evolve as what is addictive as a definition keeps changing. Right. Yes. Because you know what is addictive today may not be what is addictive tomorrow. Yes. Or it may be even more complex in terms of defining what is addictive. So, in everything we are doing, Abjit, we are allowing the laws and the rules and the guidelines to keep evolving as we say face up to new challenges and new changes. And in the technology space, you will be the first one to agree disruption is normal. It is, yes. Yes. What tomorrow is, I can't anticipate even today. Yes, correct. Therefore, we have to be prepared for almost being on a treadmill that is constantly moving and we have to keep running to keep staying in the same place. Yes. So, that flexibility we need, all our laws have been designed like that, that will say that if there is a certain thing that we have an envy sergeant to 2023 that we see in 2025, that we don't have to go back to the drawing board. We can just simply create subordinate legislation and say we will deal with that issue as well. Right. There is so much Indian talent abroad and who are working in all these high tech fields and all. Sure, sure. Is there any way of bringing them back? I am telling you and from my perspective where I have obviously have some visibility, I am seeing a very different sort of a movement. People are coming back increasingly and I use one example to showcase this. There is a gentleman called Jim Keller. Jim Keller was an AI architect of Tesla. Yes, yes. And he is very, I mean in this valley and in the area of semiconductors, a very respected person. I mean he is a maverick inventor, designer but an extremely sharp person. Yes. He sets up two semiconductor design, chip design start-ups. Where does he set it up? Bangalore.

What is the Digital India Act and what are theParameters? (35:28)

Yes, right. So, it is not just the Indians who are coming back. Okay. It is even cutting-edge technology professionals and start-ups and leaders of the world who are saying we need to do the start-up in India. And Prime Minister of Narendra Modi said this very beautifully in the Semicon India conference in Gandhinagar recently. He said in 2022 when we had the first Semicon India, first edition of Semicon India, people were saying why India, a semiconductor. Yes. And today just 12 months on, people are saying why are we not in India? Right. And so, I think there is a change. A lot of talented talent flow is moving back in the reverse direction to India. Okay. Especially Diaspora. And many, many I get to meet and talk to people. I will give you another example. Professor Rao Tomala who is a legend in the area of semiconductor packaging. Okay. And he was in Georgia Tech. He was the head of VLSI in Georgia Tech and he is very professor emeritus there. He has been pounding the pavement in India for the last 12 months. Okay. As a man on a mission, he is an old gentleman. Okay. And he says I want to create an India semiconductor research that is at par with the rest of the world. Oh, fantastic. And he is coming back from the US and doing that. Okay. And so, I find that that trend or that sort of trajectory has reversed. People now see India as an extremely competitive and exciting place if you are in the innovation space. Of course, there will still be people who are in the IT and IT space who will see opportunities elsewhere in the world. And we certainly don't want to create any barriers to mobility. But it is not just one way anymore. It is certainly two way. Right. So, this has started recently. This has been going on for a long time. So, this is certainly more even today. But I can certainly see the trajectory and velocity of people returning home and wanting to do things in India fast increasing. Right.

Gen Z, Capture eyeballs of Young Indians With Insight (37:31)

We are focusing on manufacturing. There is a lot of electronics manufacturing happening in India. Sure. Is Tesla, what are we doing to get Apple, Tesla, etc. Look, I will go out on a limb today, Abhijit, with you and say that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visionary, his visionary PLI policies, which are totally transformed electronics in India. I mean, we were nothing in electronics in 2014. We were importing all our phones. Phones, right. And today we make all our phones in India. Right. We were exporting zero. I always said zero, but that is not exports. And today we are exporting one lakh crores of Apple and Samsung phones to the markets of the world. Right. I will go out on a limb and say there is not one global electronics brand. That is today a global brand that will not be in India in the coming one or two years. Fantastic. Yeah. And I'm saying this with not because I'm some astrologer. I'm saying this because I have such confidence in the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unrolled this and rolled out this PLI scheme that Cisco is here. Apple is here. Samsung is here. You know, every other telecom company is here manufacturing to manufacturing. Right. And today was the last day for the IT PLI 2.0 hardware PLI. Acer has signed up. Asus has signed up both from Taiwan, Dell, HP and HPE from the US. Okay. They've all signed up for the PLI 2.0. So I don't want to speculate on Tesla, whether they are what their plans are. I certainly am not privy to it. But look, Tesla is an amazing company. It is a company that is an automotive company. It's a battery company. It's a product that has 1400, 1500 semiconductors per product. And I see no reason. I can't see any other place that Tesla would be better suited to set up a plant than in India.

Learning From Chinese Approach & IRAB Model (39:29)

And I think after his meetings with the honorable Prime Minister in the US recently, he certainly Elon Musk is certainly exploring India as a potential base for Tesla. And I would go out on a limb and say that when we meet maybe a year from today, we will be all talking about what fancy features on this Tesla you like or you don't like. Absolutely. What's the big vision 2030? We'll not talk about 2047. What's 2030? 2030, I think the I mean, I haven't thought that far ahead and I usually don't think that far ahead. But working with our honorable Prime Minister certainly gives you an insight into how he's thinking. One of the clear things that is coming out in his thinking and in the way our country is moving is that we will certainly be the third largest economy in the world. We will cross Germany and Japan. Very sure. Yes. Now, what does that mean? Being the third largest economy in the world means we will have a digital economy, which will be one of the biggest in the world. We will have an economy which is the third largest in the world. And we will be one or two stepping stones away from being a full blown developed nation. And what does that mean in terms of two people listening to this? Please understand, in the last six years alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has taken 13 crore Indians out of poverty. Right. 130 million million. Now, imagine an India where there is no poverty and that every youngster, whether he is in the remote village of Zuniboto in Nagaland or in Jammu in Kashmir or down south or east or west, is having the same conversations and same aspirations about his or her future that a young boy today or a young girl today has in Bangalore, Hyderabad. Imagine that India. Yes. Right. And if you think about 2030, I think that is the India that we really see in our lifetimes being possible. Right. If you would have asked me nine years ago, would we be 20% of our GDP digital economy, I would have laughed at you. If you had said, would we ever change the narrative of governance and this leaky governance system that we have inherited for 65 years and that Rajiv Gandhi talked about in 1985, I would have laughed at you. But we have achieved all that and more. So, I see by 2030, no reason why we cannot aspire to be, of course, in technology, we will certainly be the leading nation of the world or amongst the leading nations of the world.

Understanding Technology Progression & Democratization (42:06)

Because in the top three, there will be India, China and the US and India and US will continue to have these great partnerships in technology and innovation. And I think we'll certainly be a very, very significant player in the space of tech and innovation. But equally as an inclusive democracy that has really created opportunities for all its people, unlike any other democracy in the world, 2030, in my opinion, is also that India. Right. And your audience, for example, today when we talk about tech, is still maybe urban and a little bit outside town. This is the way I would position it, that Abhajit in 2030, when he's doing his podcast, his audience will be all around the country and they will be relating to this conversation about semiconductors, AI, as much as the young boy or the young girl in Bangalore or Mumbai or Hyderabad or Chennai. And that I think is the power of the vision of our Prime Minister, which is that every young Indian must feel he or she has a legitimate aspiration in this really changing world that we all live in and that he or she also has a good shot at creating a career and a future for himself or herself. Right. Media is changing. What do you make of the podcasting space? It's a new thing in India as well.

Understanding Rural India

The Paradox Of Rural India (43:33)

I think it's brilliant. I think podcasts have a way of having conversations as well as get to a lot of outcomes and messaging. And I think that is informal. People like it more and more because it is the reason why the old interviews on legacy TV channels used to work very well, which is finally people like these conversations on topics between two people. Yes. Not shouting, screaming, which is what unfortunately television has become that. It has. And in the old days, when you talked about news and current affairs, there was a significant part of current affairs, which is about conversation. Yes. Two people having a conversation, agreeing to disagree, agreeing to agree, whatever. But it was finally a conversation. Yes. News, unfortunately, in today's age has left that as a non-option on legacy TV channels. And I think podcasts are stepping into that space and occupying it very, very rapidly. And I feel personally I consume a lot of podcasts. I find it a lot more fulfilling and enlightening and helping me expand my own thinking and awareness than any time I spend on television, certainly. So I think it's a format that is here. Of course, people have to keep it fresh and people have to keep it lively because you're constantly going to be challenged by short form videos, reels and stories and all of that. And but I think there are certainly going to be two audiences, one which is people wanting more measures, something longer in terms of a conversation. And there will always be people who want this instant gratification of flipping through and watching 18 things in five seconds. So that is something that the youngsters will always enjoy and that will continue to be there. Sir, I would like to congratulate you for all the great work you've done and I wish you a lot more success in the future. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Objit. Thank you for having this conversation. Thank you. Thank you. So that was the conversation. Hope you liked it. If you enjoyed this, please share this on WhatsApp and other media. Thank you very much. And I'll see you soon.

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