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Nasscom Forum 2012: Kapil Sibal rules out censorship on social media

Union minister for Communications, IT and HRD Kapil Sibal said the government has no plans to censor social media, but said companies must obey the laws of the land.

Mail Today Bureau   Mumbai     Last Updated: February 15, 2012  | 13:34 IST

The government on Tuesday said that it has no intention to censor social media and dismissed theories on pre-screening of social media content.

Union minister for Communications, IT and HRD Kapil Sibal said the government has no plans to censor social media, but said companies must obey the laws of the land.

Recently, the Supreme Court had directed social media companies like Google and Facebook to take out objectionable content from their Websites and there were fears like a China like ban.

"No government in India will ever censor social media. There is no plan for prescreening of social media content. I read it in the media and heard it for the first time. The media said it quoted me for something which I had never said. Globally, there is no technology available for pre-screening and how can we do it," the minister told delegates at the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) 20th India Leadership Forum, currently underway in Mumbai.

"Everybody obeys the law of the country. Social media is not above the law. The print media obeys the law, the electronic media obeys it and why not social media. We will walk with you hand in hand to take India in this exciting journey," the minister added.

Lauding the contribution of the information technology industry in effecting changes, the minister said, "IT is helping the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, and improving the lives of citizens.

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Thus, IT is the backbone of any transformative economy especially in the context of the 21st century."

The minister said that the government would set up a Rs 1,000 crore fund as part of electronic device manufacturing policy and develop over 200 industrial clusters over the next 10 years. The government will soon bring in the Electronic Service Delivery Bill, which would mandate government services to be delivered through electronic mode and this would open up vast opportunities for the IT industry.

He said by 2018, all public services will be delivered electronically.

Nasscom in its survey has identified e-governance projects as one of the most potential growth drivers of IT and ITES industry in India.

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Meanwhile, the IT industry said it would achieve a revenue target of $100 billion this year despite many challenges bogging the global economy.

For the financial year 2012-13, export revenues are expected to grow by 11 to 14 per cent while domestic revenues will grow by 13 to 16 per cent.

"The industry performance this year demonstrated the sector's ability to innovate and deliver differently in order to maintain the growth trajectory. Indian IT companies are investing in building platforms and productised solutions to drive future growth opportunities," said Rajendra Pawar, chairman, Nasscom.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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