October 2022 \ Interviews \ COVER STORY
“5G milestone has been achieved under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership”

Mr Ashwini Vaishnaw is the Indian Federal Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology since July 2021. He’d started out as a civil servant (IAS) in 1994 and quit the service in 2010, but not before taking a sabbatical to complete his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently, he took up private sector assignments including as managing director of GE Transportation in India, and Vice President-Locomotives and Head of Urban Infrastructure at Siemens. While with the Government, he’d also worked as deputy chairman, Mormugao Port Trust. He, therefore, brings in wide experience from both public and private sectors. He responded to questions from India Empire’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of subjects encompassing the ministries under his charge. PICTURE BY: SIPRA DAS

By Sayantan Chakravarty

First and foremost, congratulations on the successful launch of 5G services in India. We know it is faster internet speed, but what does it mean for India in the technology space?

It is a milestone that India as a nation has achieved under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. Development of our indigenous end-to-end 4G and 5G technology stacks is being viewed positively across the world.

Significantly, our engineers have mastered these technologies in a very short time frame. The best part is that it is the collaboration between government, academia, research institutions and the private sector that has resulted in creation of these critical technology stacks.

How will 5G transform and impact the day to day life of citizens?

Sectors like education and healthcare will have an immensely positive impact. Until now, the applications and solutions were conceptualized and designed in isolation from the network technology. This will change going forward with 5G at core. There is so much energy and enthusiasm in our young talent around this, they are building solutions to harness its capabilities.

As we shift to this new generation of technology, do we have enough laws to protect users?

Government is working on a comprehensive legal framework for the digital economy. The draft Telecom Bill 2022 is out for consultation; we are also working on Data Protection Bill and Digital India Bill. We have started with Telecom Bill 2022 because now telecom is essentially the first access window to the internet. This bill has a clear focus on the protection of users.

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