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Minister for Electronics and IT

Minister for Electronics and Information Technology (26 May, 2014 – 23 May, 2019)

Ravi Shankar Prasad was appointed as Minister for Communications and IT at the time of formation of the Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In July 2016, this Ministry of bifurcated into Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The new Ministry of Electronics and IT remained with Ravi Shankar Prasad after this bifurcation. Key achievements of Ravi Shankar Prasad as Minister for Electronics and IT is given as under:

  • Growth in Electronics Manufacturing : As Minister in charge of Electronics and IT Ministry, Ravi Shankar Prasad encouraged electronics manufacturing in India. In the year 2014, when Narendra Modi government took office, there were only two mobile phone manufacturing units in India. In 2019, there were 268 mobile and ancillary manufacturing units in India. Under his leadership India became the second largest mobile phone producers in the world in 2019 from just two mobile factories in 2014. Samsung started the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing unit in Noida in 2018. Production of other consumer electronics in India also doubled in these five years.
  • Common Service Centers : Ravi Shankar Prasad took efforts to make Digital India an inclusive program to empower ordinary citizens of India. Common Service Centres or CSCs became a vehicle to achieve this objective. These Centers were developed as a digital service delivery kiosk in villages and one stop shop for all the digital services for people. Services like railway ticket booking, PAN application, Aadhaar enrollment, digital skilling, Ayushman Bharat Card, payment of utility bills, banking and insurance services etc. were offered through these kiosks. There were only 83,000 Common Service Centers in May, 2014. By March, 2019, 310,000 Centers were made functional across 200,000 Gram Panchayats or village clusters out of 250,000 Gram Panchayats of India. These centers created village level digital entrepreneurs, nearly 63,000 of those were women entrepreneurs. It is estimated that this also led to creation of nearly 1 million or 10 Lakh direct and indirect jobs.
  • Stree Swabhiman Initiative : Leveraging the vast network of Common Service Centers, Ravi Shankar Prasad encouraged manufacturing of low cost sanitary pads at these centers by rural women. More than 300 such micro sanitary pad units were started by rural entrepreneurs and it created employment for 8 to 10 rural women. Biggest impact of this initiative was in the form of spread of awareness among rural women about menstrual hygiene and availability of low cost sanitary pads made locally. Women who manufactured these pads in their units also worked like advocacy groups in their villages and created awareness about using sanitary pads instead of other traditional methods during menstrual cycle.
  • Digital Literacy : Pradhan Mantri Digital Saksharta Abhiyan was started as the biggest digital literacy mission to make at least one adult in every household digitally literate. More than 2 Crore or 20 million adults were made digitally literate through this programme.
  • Efforts Made to Promote Emerging Technologies : Under the leadership of Ravi Shankar Prasad, India took strides to develop a domestic ecosystem in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality etc. Ministry of Electronics and IT in collaboration with Indian IT industry set up Centers of Excellence in many of these areas in different parts of India.
  • Promotion of Digital Services : Under the Digital India Mission, several digital services like eHospital, eVisa, National Scholarship Portal, eNAM, Umang mobile app, Jeevan Pramaan, Digi Locker, eSign, Swayam online learning platform, BHIM-UPI digital payment system, MyGov citizen engagement platform etc. were launched.
  • BPOs in Small Towns : To develop BPO industry in small towns by India BPO Promotion Schemes and North East BPO Promotion Schemes were launched. These schemes offered financial incentives for setting up BPOs in small towns. More than 200 BPO units started function in small towns like Patna, Muzaffarpur, Krimnagar, Sangli, Breilly, Badgam, Srinagar, Jammu, Sopore, Vellor, Guntur, Sagar, Kohima, Guwahati, Imphal etc.