India’s IT and Communications Ministries registered 7.1% growth even during COVID-19, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday. This is despite the global and local recession, he said. In his inaugural address at CyFy, an annual cybersecurity conference organised by the think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), he hailed the Indian government's digital schemes and argued that the digital ecosystem brought about "some degree of sanity" during COVID-19. Prasad said that through postal operations, mobile phone, internet and other forms of digital connectivity, his ministries could “afford some degree of relief” to the people during the pandemic when everything was shut down. “While COVID has caused enormous problem, suffering, COVID has also established one thing: every challenge brings an opportunity,” he said, "and the opportunity here is the potential of digital technologies". Since Prasad was talking about digital technologies, he availed the opportunity to give CyFy attendees a list of digital initiatives the Modi government has undertaken in the last six year: Digital India Programme, Aadhaar, Aayushman Bharat, GST (“one country, one tax”, “one country, one ration card”, and UPI. Referring to the National Digital Health Mission, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, Prasad said that it is a “public digital health platform” wherein “the health parameters of all Indians are included through a proper health, digital identity”. He also mentioned the BharatNet programme that seeks to connect all villages in the country with optical fibre. That programme has been beset with extraordinary delays…
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