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Indian kids need to be computer literate to avail tech opportunities: Sibal

New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): Union Communications and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that Indian children need to be computer literate to utilise opportunities thrown up by technology.

Speaking at a discussion on a roadmap for the implementation of the advanced Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in India, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Sibal said most problems faced by the country can be resolved through technology.

He added that if India does not have computer literate children, then it will not be able to take advantage of this transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

He said opportunities thrown up by technology can be harnessed only if children are made computer literate.

“You can’t talk of it in terms of moving from IPv4 to IPv6…. The enormous opportunities that we have. 340 trillion IP addresses that we will have and we know that 3.4 billion IP addresses are not enough. So what if you provide the addresses if you do not bring digital literacy to the masses,” he said.

Taking a dig at political parties, Sibal said: “Not only that, the children will be computer literate only when the political establishment understands the importance of IPv6. Do political parties in this country understand the importance of IPv6?

“Has the industry actually gone to political parties to make them understand the importance of IPv6? Has industry done that? Have we explained as officials to our political leaders that this is necessary.”

The Minister also referred to the hurdles the government is facing in getting bills passed in Parliament.

“Convergence means communication between devices like your mobile, TV, etc. Now, in order to do that, we need to get the Convergence Bill passed. But we have hurdles before us, like somebody has to understand what it means, what it will do, the legal framework it will have.

“Then somebody has to understand that we should stop coming to the Well of the House on a daily basis so that legislation is passed. The political future of this country will not be built by coming to the Well of the House. It will be built by debating these issues in the House,” Sibal said.

On the measures required to get the issues resolved, he said it is important to reach out to the political class.

“We will meet the challenge by first convincing our political parties and leaders that it is important to give a big thrust to IT hardware in this country,” he added.

Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui said IPv6 requires active support and involvement of the industry.

“We are undertaking steps to increase the broadband reach from the present 15 million to 175 million by 2017 and 600 million by 2020. This together with content and application development will play a critical role,” he added. (ANI with inputs)