Days after the Government banned 59 Chinese apps, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said India must develop its own apps and stop dependence on such foreign apps.
“... The dependence on these foreign apps with their own agenda for variety of reasons, must stop,” the Minister said adding that the ban presents an opportunity for Indian start ups and bright young minds to leverage their intellectual capability and innovative thinking and come up with “good” ''Made in India'' apps.
Prasad was speaking at a conference organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to commemorate five years of Digital India.
“In wake of the ban which we have imposed, I don''t want to go into details of it ... emergency power has been exercised and legal process is being followed. But I think it is a great opportunity, can we come up with good apps made by Indians...,” Prasad said.
This would also offer a big scope for Public Private Partnership, he added.
“I don''t have the slightest doubt...that let us take this as an opportunity that India will become a big centre of Rs Made in India apps'' with all the segmented requirements which we have. If we start thinking on those lines, it is all doable,” Prasad said.
He exhorted technology leaders like Nandan Nilekani (Infosys chairman),
Debjani Ghosh (Nasscom president), and others to encourage large number of start ups and tech minds, to create good apps.
“... they are quite capable of doing so...I think there is tremendous intellectual capability, tech imaginative faculty avilable to do so...,” he said.
The rise in India''s app economy is “remarkable”, Prasad said exuding confidence that USD 1 trillion digital economy target “is acheivable”.
On June 29, India had banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.
The ban, which comes in the backdrop of current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh with Chinese troops, is also applicable for WeChat and Bigo Live. The list of apps that have been banned also include Helo, Likee, CamScanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein.
This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.
The Information Technology Ministry statement had cited many complaints received from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users'' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
Meanwhile, speaking at the Digital India event, Prasad said Cabinet nod will soon be sought on policy for providing Broadband through landline.
“India is still the biggest centre of landline but they are largely untapped. So I have decided to go to the cabinet soon with all the details so that there is a proper policy in place for providing Broadband through the landline,” Prasad said.
This will also allow cable operators to avail the facility to provide broadband to the housing complexes, he added.