Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the 5th edition of VivaTech on 16th June 2021 via video conferencing.
- The Prime Minister was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016.
- Other prominent speakers in the event included the President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, and ministers and MPs from various European countries.
- The event also witnessed the participation of corporate leaders including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Chairman and CEO, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and President, Microsoft Brad Smith.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said that India and France have been working closely on a wide range of subjects. Among these, technology and digital are emerging areas of cooperation.
- Shri Modi mentioned Infosys providing tech support for the French Open tournament and collaboration involving French companies like Atos, Capgemini and India’s TCS and Wipro as examples of IT talent of the two countries serving companies and citizens all over the world.
- He pointed out that India implemented huge reforms across sectors, be it mining, space, banking, atomic energy and more during this period and that India is adaptable and agile even in the middle of the pandemic.
- He pointed out that where convention fails, innovation helps. He said digital technology helped people cope, connect, comfort and console. Through digital media, people could work, talk with loved ones and help others.
- He stated that India offers what innovators and investors need. He invited the world to invest in India based on the following five pillars:
- Culture of openness.
- He said India is home to one of the world’s largest start-up eco systems. Several unicorns have come up in the recent years.
- The Prime Minister said indigenous IT technologies helped our fight against COVID 19. While Aarogya Setu enabled effective contact-tracing, CoWin platform helped ensure COVID Vaccines to millions.
- The Prime Minister praised the role of the start-up sector in meeting the challenge of the pandemic. The private sector played a key role in addressing the shortage of PPE kits, masks, testing kits etc. Doctors adopted tele-medicine in a big way so that some COVID and other non-COVID issues could be addressed virtually.
- He said two vaccines are being made in India and more are in the development or trial stage.
- Mr Modi added that Aadhaar helped provide timely support to people during pandemic and free ration, and cooking fuel was delivered to people.
- He said two public digital education programes- Swayam and Diksha – were operationalised in quick time to help students.
- Prime Minister stressed the need for insulating planet against the next pandemic. He said focus on sustainable life-styles must be ensured that stop ecological degradation. He called upon the start-up community to take the lead in working with collective spirit and a human centric approach to overcome this challenge.
- Talking about the disruption in different sector over the past year, the Prime Minister insisted that disruption does not have to mean despair. Instead, the focus should be kept on the twin foundations of repair and prepare. “This time last year, the world was still seeking a vaccine.
- VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016.
- It is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe – a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate and Les Echos – a leading French media group.
- The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem and includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions, and startup contests.