PM woos new media, promises IPR protection

25 September 2015

Presenting India's development agenda as a technology-driven, Modi today pledged protection to intellectual property rights (IPR) as he met top executives of major media and communication companies, including media baron Rupert Murdoch, in New York.

The prime minister was chairing a round-table meeting with top American CEOs from the media and entertainment sector.

''This is a technology-driven era. We are a technology-driven society,'' he said at a round-table meeting with the top executives of companies like Comcast, Time Warner, Discovery, Sony, ESPN, News Corp, 21st Century Fox, Disney Industries, ABC television group.

Among the top media executives who attended the meeting with Prime Minister Modi, were Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corp, Brian L Roberts, CEO, Comcast, Jeff Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner, Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP, and John Skipper, President, ESPN.

The focus of the prime minister's meeting with over dozen media leaders was to understand about the trends in media and communication technologies and the opportunities for India.

''We are committed to protecting IPR, which is essential to fostering creativity,'' Modi told them at the roundtable on Media, Tech & Communications.

The CEOs appreciated the Prime Minister for energetic and dynamic leadership, and expressed optimism about the future of India.

Specifically, the CEOs were enthusiastic about the digital transformation that is taking place in India through the Digital India initiative.

They said that the current strong trajectory of the Indian economy makes it at a unique moment to accelerate growth in this sector.

The CEOs called for speeding up of television digitisation, and strengthening of the cellular (mobile) infrastructure.

The prime minister and the CEOs observed that the changes in technology and media in recent times have led to an enormous democratisation of knowledge. 

The prime minister said that the world is now in a technology-driven era, where growth of digital infrastructure is as important as growth of physical infrastructure. He suggested to the CEOs that India represents both the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge for them, and urged them to keep regional languages in mind, as they firm up investment plans for India.

He spoke of his government's vision to connect 600,000 villages through broadband connectivity.

He asked the CEOs to visualise the citizen of the 21st century, and think about what values he will represent and what challenges he will face.

He also spoke of the role that digital technology can play in human resource development. The prime minister emphasised that he saw a key role for digital technology in further strengthening democracy, and in India's development narrative.

(Also see: Committed to transparent and accountable governance, Modi tells CEOs and Modi pushes 'start-up' promotion at financial sector round-table)

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