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Speech by Shri M.J. Akbar, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, on the occasion of joint inauguration of Centre for Excellence in IT (CEIT), Casablanca, Morocco

May 09, 2018

Excellency, Rakiya Edderham, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Ambassadors, Mr. Hemant Darbari, Director General, C-DAC, Mr. Ashwin Borkar, Head, CEIT, distinguished members of the Governments of the Kingdom of Morocco and India and friends!

  • For six decades, India and Morocco have offered an outstanding example of fraternity between the people, friendship between governments, partnership between economic verticals and amity in their desire for world peace and rising prosperity. Since His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s visit to India in October 2015, our relations have become even more vibrant and productive. The challenge now is to find the key that will unlock an even better future. Technology is one such key.
  • IT contains a vital difference between other seminal inventions of the past, whether the wheel to electricity to printing press to automobile or indeed the paper clip. IT is one invention that keeps reinventing itself. To stand still is to retreat. Our challenge, as governments responsive to the needs of people, and particularly of the young, is two-fold. First, how can we use this technology to reinvent government as a platform of efficient and incorruptible services. Second : how can we create an ecosystem by which our people and our nations can be in the vanguard of innovation in this fast-changing environment. The private sector has already done miracles. Can government be the engine of the next miracle in IT?
  • Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India Programme focuses on achievement of a digitally empowered knowledge economy and a National e-Governance Plan. There are 9 thrust areas: Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, e-Kranti - Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs. Through IT, smart Start ups and incubators have revolutionized careers and job options in India. We can share and will share this experiences through many projects: ITEC, CDAC, and perhaps most of all through CEIT (Centre for Excellence in IT). The efforts of stalwarts like Dr. Hemant Darbari and Ashwin Borkar will take our engagement forward in quantum leaps.
  • The institutional mechanisms of Joint Working Groups are meeting regularly to explore areas of cooperation and a roadmap for their implementation. High-level political exchanges between the two countries have intensified with New Delhi having had the privilege of hosting no less then five Ministers including yourself from Morocco. On our part, since COP-22, we have had four of my distinguished colleagues from Ministries of Environment and Forests, Commerce and Industry, Law and Justice visited your beautiful and ancient country.
  • Today, through this auspicious inauguration of CEIT, the Government and the people of India renew their commitment to walk the path of peace and prosperity with the Government and the people of Morocco. I express my deep appreciation to you, Excellency, for your personal role in our joint endeavour to bring the fruits of development to our people through this project.
  • I also felicitate you and all the distinguished colleagues of both Governments who have worked tirelessly towards the realization of this project and the arrangement for this inauguration befitting the character and mandate of CEIT. I wish the CEIT the very best for its future endeavours and the best of opportunities for CEIT’s students.
Thank you!
New Delhi
07 May 2018
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