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Digital India Summit and Awards 2016, March 22, 2016 || New Delhi


To help speed the transition to a vibrantly Digital India, TIMES NOW and ET NOW, India's leading TV channels for English News and Business News respectively, organised the second edition of Digital India Summit & Awards on 22 March, 2016, which has been helping India on the path to digitalization by providing the most celebrated thought leaders and digital evangelists a platform to ideate on important areas and issues, engage with policymakers on India’s progress in this space, and also by recognizing and honoring individuals, businesses and organisations that are harnessing the power of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and digital tools.

In its second season, TIMES NOW and ET NOW continue their constant commitment to empowering the nation on its way to progress. Digital India Summit continued to work across the pillars of the Digital India initiative to help transform India into a digital-empowered economy. In the process, it also took a closer look at India's progress in the first year of the Summit vis-a-vis goals and targets set for each of the pillars. Some of the most important architects of India’s digital revolution congregated for the all-day event, to take a close look at the progress of Digital India.

Digital India Summit & Awards got under way on 22nd March 2016, with a day-long event in New Delhi. The event was split into two parts – Digital India Summit (during the day) and Digital India Awards in the evening. The summit saw top industry experts, thought leaders and policy makers discuss important subjects, which began with a keynote address followed by 5 sessions on important areas of empowering a Digital India that brought together several eminent leaders from across the industry, government and academia to deliberate upon set goals, evaluate performance and identify areas where more attention is required.

These sessions threw light on various subjects like Delivering on the Digital India Dream - The Story So Far; Building a Digital Economy (A roadmap to change India's future), Digital India - Developing Digital Entrepreneurs (Internet enabling entrepreneurs to tap the big Indian e-commerce opportunity), Making India an Electronics Manufacturing Hub and Developing Digital Workforce Critical For Digital India and ICT.

Event Highlights

  • Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar- Chief Guest, Keynote Address
  • Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore- special address
  • Guest of Honour and Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), R. S. Sharma- gave away the awards
  • Thought-leader panels to discuss critical areas of digital empowerment
  • Concluded the prestigious Digital India Summit with Awards
  • Lead and Award Partner: Huawei | Lead Partners: GTL Infrastructure and Union Bank of India
  • Digital Partner: Tech Mahindra | Knowledge Partner: MAIT | Tech 4 Good Partner: Nasscom Foundation
  • Digital Storage Partner: Western Digital | Exclusive Chamber Partner: FICCI | Recruitment Partner: Times Jobs

Digital India designed to transform Economy, Ravi Shankar Prasad at Digital India Summit

Communications and Information Technology Minister- Ravi Shankar Prasad who was invited as the Chief Guest, delivered the keynote address at the Digital India Summit & Awards 2016, and addressed some of the most important architects of India’s digital revolution who had gathered to discuss India’s progress in the digital world.


Union Minister started his address with calling Digital India and other programmes recently launched by government, as transformational. He said, “Digital India, Make in India and Skill India are transformational programmes for a digitally empowered India.”  He said that over the past slightly under two years that it had been in power, the Union Government had been trying to bring in transformational programs of lasting significance and impact, adding that the results had begun showing. He said that while earlier only a few major metros like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gurgaon had IT hubs, “Now we have IT hubs even in mofussil towns.”

Digitally empowered India is the ultimate aim of Digital India Mission, Ravi Shankar Prasad at Digital India Summit 2016. Prasad further informed that India has over 1 billion mobile phones and total 99 crore Aadhar Card holders. He praised the government’s initiative of Aadhar based Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidy which has helped government to save more than Rs. 15,000 crore by stopping misuse and leakage.

“India has taken a lead in global internet governance. We have advocated multi stakeholder approach of Internet governance,” Prasad said. On Net neutrality, he said that Internet is valued as an open, fair, neutral and plural media for empowerment of people and it must remain non-discriminatory. He recalled, “NGOs, civil society, media, government and people of India have to work for the growth of Internet to make it inclusive and available to all.” “Internet is one of the finest creations of human mind,” he added.

Talking about the government’s plans to provide employment, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We are taking BPOs to small towns of India to provide employment to youth of small towns so that they don’t have to migrate to cities for job.”

R S Prasad emphasized that India would emerge as an Electronics manufacturing hub. The investments in Electronic manufacturing have now crossed Rs. 128,000 crore. “Manufacturing of mobile phones in India has grown by 83 percent since last year. Now almost every big mobile phone brand has a manufacturing here,” he said.

Post offices pip SBI to have largest core banking footprint, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Listing out the achievements of the Government as it looks to complete two years in power, Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad said during his tenure and because of a sustained push, 20494 post offices have been connected under core banking solution, which is more than the 16333 enabled core banking branches of State Bank of India ( SBI).


"I pushed my postal service to go digital, because postal service digitization is integral to digital India. The first thing we pushed was core banking solution, which means banking from anywhere. We have 25,000 district and sub-post offices that needed to be digitized. When I had become Minister, only 230 post offices had core banking. Today, 20494 post offices have come under core banking solution and we will complete the remaining by April this year. Core banking linkage of post office is bigger than that of the State Bank of India," said Prasad.

Prasad added that the number of ATMs in post offices has increased from 4 when he took over as the minister to 850 today and by April the number will rise to 1000. "By March next year we will bring in the payment bank of the postal department," said Prasad.

Prasad listed another key achievement of his Ministry, which is the delivery of e-commerce consignments. "Parcel revenue had dipped by 2% in 2013-14, it rose by 45% in 2014-15 and now has risen by 120% by January 2015-16. This is the scale we have been able to achieve," said Prasad.

Stating that digital infrastructure is important and has revolutionary potential, Prasad said that when he became the Minister the total length of pipes laid out was 2092 kms and optical fiber was at 398 kms. "Today, in less than two years we have laid pipes in 1,30,000 kms of pipes and optical fiber of 1,10,000 kms," said Prasad.

The Minister went on to add that the number of Common Service Centers has increased from 83000 units when he took over to 157000 today. Next year the government plans to scale it by another 1 lakh units. Of these, 20,000 are being run by women entrepreneurs. He added that the government would also be pushing a BPO call centre programme in a big way to ensure Digital India as a mission percolates to even the smaller towns.

Sessions and speakers:

The day was packed with five panel discussions with some of the most renowned and experienced leaders from across the industry.

Session 1 – Delivering On Digital India Dream: The Story So Far
Speakers – R Chandrashekhar (President- NASSCOM); Amit Midha (President Dell Asia Pacific & Japan; Chairman, Dell Emerging Markets- DELL), Joe So (Global CTO Enterprise Business Group-Huawei India), Karl Mehta (Founder Edcast), Arvind Gupta (National Head-BJP-IT Cell), Noshir Kaka (MD – McKinsey) and Amit Jain (CEO, Uber India).

The panel focussed on where digital India stands and the key government initiatives under the Digital India initiative.

Session 2 – Building a Digital Economy
Speakers – Sandeep Aurora (Director, Marketing and Market Development – Intel South Asia), Arun Tiwari (Chairman & MD – Union Bank of India), Milind Bengali (Chief Operating Officer, Business Operations – GTL Infrastructure Ltd), Chandan Kumar (Director, Marketing and Integrated Solutions – Huawei Telecommunications India), Ravinder Pal Singh (Director Solutions Strategy & Biz Development – Dell) and Khushe Bahl (Head of Digital Practice, Partner – McKinsey India).

The panel discussed the roadmap to change India’s future and throw light on India’s digital population.

Session 3 – Digital India – Developing Digital Entrepreneurs
Speakers – Ravi Gururaj (Chairman – Founder & CEO QikPod & NASSCOM Product Council),Mahesh Murthy (Founder & Co-Founder – Pinstorm & Seedfund), Sharad Sharma (Co-Founder – iSpirt), Sanjay Sethi (Founder & CEO – ShopClues), Sanjeev Aggarwal (Founder– Helion Ventures),Saurabh Srivastava (Entrepreneur & Co-Founder – Indian Angel Network).

The panelists discussed how the internet was enabling entrepreneurs to tap the big Indian e-commerce opportunity.

Session 4- Making India an Electronics Manufacturing Hub
Speakers – Ajai Chowdhry (Chairman-Electronics Sector Skills Council of India), Nitin Kunkolienkar (VP & Director-MAIT & Smartlink), Sudhir Hasija (Chairman – Karbonn), Sunil Vachani (CMD – Dixon Technologies) and Murali Arikara (Executive Director – Essential Energy India Pvt Ltd)

They discussed issues like the recent developments in and incentives for the electronics industry and the challenges ahead.

Session 5 – Developing Digital Workforce
Speakers – Shrikant Sinha (CEO-NASSCOM Foundation), Prithvi Shergill (Global HR – HCL Tech),Raja Sekhar Reddy (Director & Chief Operating Officer – Innovsource Private Limited), Manish Sabarwal (Chairman and Co-Founder – Teamlease), Rahul Patwardhan (CEO – NIIT), Raj Raghavan (HR Head – Amazon India) and Jagdish Mitra (Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Head Growth Factories – Tech Mahindra)

The discussion revolved around how critical the skilled workforce of the digital India mission was and examined the Union Government’s measures to enhance digital literacy in the country.

The experts were also addressed by Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who addressed the power-packed gathering of digital and society influencers in the evening, said “Expansion of digital services and bringing digital literacy down to the grassroots level” were priorities because “when you do that, you will have all the people empowered to use the digital platforms to improve their lives.” He added that “Programs like these (The Digital India Summit & Awards 2016) are extremely critical for bringing the government and the private sector together.” He observed that regular feedback and advice from the private sector (to the government) would help “strengthen the program of digital India… making it a success.”

Digital India Summit Awards:

The day concluded with the prestigious Digital India Summit Awards being given out to those leaders whose efforts and initiatives have contributed the most to the Digital India Summit's primary objectives to help India on the path to transform business processes, improve delivery of public services and thereby to create a positive impact on society. Mr. R S Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), gave away the Digital India Awards 2016 to a galaxy of truly deserving winners at the glittering ceremony.

The Awards recognized and honored the tenacious efforts by individuals and organizations in the social and corporate world that are harnessing the power of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and digital tools to transform business processes, improve delivery of public services and create a positive impact on society and do good work for the Nation.

To promote the Digital India Summit, TIMES NETWORK ran an exhaustive high-decibel Call-for-Entries campaign to invite participation from businesses and organization that are harnessing the power of technology and connectivity to transform businesses and lives of people.

The entire process, from call for entries to the selection and shortlisting process, through to an eminent-Jury meet, and finally, the winners' announcement and felicitation on the awards night, flew across a month.

The awards were divided into two parts: 'Good for India' and 'Good for Organizations'.

While the ‘Good for India’ awards recognized the initiatives taken by stakeholders towards the accomplishment of Digital India Dream -- initiatives that have the potential to bring in a technology-based transformation and revolution to the country, the Good for Organizations awards recognized organizations that have made the first move towards Digital India by successfully using ICT in integrating people, processes and data to achieve business transformation and growth.

Award Categories & Winners:

'Good for India' has Smart City solutions in seven categories - E-governance solutions, E-education learning solutions, E-healthcare delivery solutions, Skills & employment solutions, Energy solutions, Environment solutions and Agricultural Solutions.

'Good for Organizations' has four categories under Digital Enterprise, which are Manufacturing, Services, Digital Start-up Innovators and Digital Social Innovation.

The winners in the ‘Good for India’ category:

  • Kabadiwalla Connect (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for Smart City Solutions)
  • Nextenders (India; Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for E-governance Solutions)
  • CSC E-Governance Services India (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for E-education learning Solutions)
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Sub-category -Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for E-healthcare delivery Solutions)
  • Sounds Of Silence Foundation (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for Skills & employment Solutions)
  • Earthwatch Institute India (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for Digital Environment Solutions)
  • Swasti Agro & Bioproducts (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Innovation’ for Agricultural Solutions)

In the ‘Good for Organization’ category, the winners were:

  • Biocon (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Enterprise’ for Manufacturing)
  • Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (Sub-Category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Enterprise’ for Services)
  • Spoors Technology Solutions India (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Start-up Innovators)
  • Shelter Associates (Sub-category – Outstanding Contribution in Digital Social Innovation).

Stellar Jury:

The awards had received overwhelming participation from corporates and individuals. After receiving the entries and case studies, EY, the process partner, scrutinized and assessed all entries, and thereafter, invited selected participants to present their case studies to the final Jury.

The jury for the awards included Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini, R. Chandrasekhar, President, Nasscom, Kiran Karnik, Chairman, CII’s National Committee, Telecom and Broadband and Shinjini Kumar, CEO, Payments Bank, Paytm. Also among the members of the jury-  Joy Chakraborty, COO, P. D. Hinduja Hospital and Ashutosh Jain, Chief Information Security Officer, Axis Bank. The jury judged the award entries in a daylong session.

Event a Resounding Success

The Digital India Summit & Awards 2016 garnered overwhelming response and support from all stakeholders. The event was aired on TIMES NOW and ET NOW, India’s most impactful News channels.

M K Anand, MD & CEO – Times Network, said, “We are honoured that both, the honorable Minister for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, and the honorable Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, graced the Second Digital India Summit with their presence and addressed the gathering. Times Network is home to India’s most influential television audiences, and therefore it was only fitting that we host the summit to provide a platform for some of the most celebrated thought leaders and digital evangelists to ideate on the transformational area of India’s digital development which is critical to National growth.”

Arnab Goswami, President – News & Editor-in-Chief ET NOW & TIMES NOW, said, “The Digital India Summit is a reaffirmation of our commitment to creating a digitally powered economy. I truly believe the next two years can be transformational for India.”

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