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Ban on Chinese apps is a great opportunity for ‘Made in India’ apps: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The ban on Chinese apps is a great opportunity to build and promote ‘Made in India’ apps which will be in line with government’s Clarion Call of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, said Union minister for Electronics and IT, law and justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday. “Emergency power has been exercised and the legal process has been followed,” he said while reasoning on the app ban. Prasad added that the dependence on these ‘foreign apps with their own agenda for a variety of reasons’ must stop. Prasad added that it was remarkable how the indigenous app economy had risen in the last few days following the ban on Chinese apps.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, can we come with good apps made by Indians (to create), atmanirbhar Bharat. I think there is a tremendous intellectual capability and technological imaginative faculty in India to do so,” he added. Prasad was speaking at an event commemorating five years of Digital India. The minister asked the industry to encourage start-ups and young talent to build good apps and said that he is confident that India will emerge as a big center of Make in India apps.

He requested Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh who were present on the panel to encourage startups, technological minds and youngsters to develop such apps. Government will encourage from its end but they also need a helping hand from organisations like Nasscom and industry veterans like Nilekani, he said. “There is a big scope of public private partnership, which will lead to finalisation of our way.” On Monday, the government banned 59 Chinese applications including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat in order to counter the privacy security posed by these applications.

ShareIT, UC browser and shopping app Clubfactory are among the other prominent apps which have been banned. The government has argued that the applications are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The government has invoked its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009, it said in a statement.

Prasad also said that Cabinet approval will be sought soon for a policy to provide broadband through landlines. India is one of the largest markets for landlines and cable operators can also use it to give broadband connections to apartments. Prasad also stressed on making India into a prominent hub for software products in the future. “Should we take a vow…that we will make India a big sector of software products too. We have already come up with a software product policy.”

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