Ranjo Denbow, SVP Communications, eCurrency
Photo: PM Modi's Independence Day speech, August 15, 2017
In commemoration of India’s 71st year of independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s spoke of a nation with great resolve and a progressive future. He talked of historic conquests that have strengthened the nation and determination that has brought about positive change.
Mr. Modi dedicated a portion of his speech to exult the Indian people on their technological excellence. He specifically addressed the need to look ahead to a digital world, enabling digital transactions and replacing paper currency with digital currency. He praised the growth in digital transactions that has been evident in the last 12 months and urged that India should move to a “less-cash economy”.
The English translation of the Modi’s specific words on this topic are as follows; “India is known in the world for its prowess in IT and Digital World. Should we still remain in the old mind-set? There was a time when leather coins were in vogue, but gradually they ceased to exist. Today we have paper-currency. Slowly this paper-currency will be replaced by the digital currency. We should lead from the front to make a move towards Digital transactions. We should adopt BHIM App for transactions and make it a part of our economic activities. We should also work through prepaid systems. I am happy that there has been an increase in Digital transactions. It has increased by 34% compared to last year while the prepaid transactions have gone up by 44%. We should move towards a less-cash economy.”1
Overall, Prime Minister Modi’s Independence Day speech was a call to action and a message to the nation that he will be a proponent of change, committing to provide the landscape for progress and technology to thrive.
Since that speech, Mr. Modi has continued to be assertive in his determination in leading India to digitization. In a rally on 29 October, he challenged India not to lag behind. “At one point of time it used to be stone. Then came leather, then gold and silver, ornaments paper and plastic. It has been changing from time to time,” Modi said, “Now an era of digital currency has started and India should not lag behind.”
 English Translation of Modi’s Full Speech Independence Day, 2017, http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/independence-day-2017-full-text-of-pm-narendra-modis-speech-from-red-fort/808670/  The Economics Times Article, India cannot lag behind on digital currency era: PM Narendra Modi, Oct 29, 2017, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-cannot-lag-behind-in-digital-currency-era-pm-narendra-modi/articleshow/61320702.cms