India is making rapid strides in electronics production and has emerged as the second largest mobile phone manufacturing hub globally, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday.

Addressing a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, Kovind said the value of electronic equipment manufactured in the country has increased to Rs 4.58 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 1.90 lakh crore in 2014-15.

"In 2014, there were only two companies manufacturing mobiles in India. Today, India is the second largest mobile manufacturing hub in the world," he said.

He noted that the government is promoting manufacturing of mobile phones, TVs and other electronic devices, and National Policy on Electronics has been formulated in this regard.

Over the last few years, the government has been bullish on making India a manufacturing base for the world and has set a target to promote domestic manufacturing in the entire value-chain of ESDM (electronic system design and manufacturing) to achieve a turnover of USD 400 billion (Rs 26 lakh crore) by 2025.

For mobile handset segment alone, the government, under the National Policy on Electronics 2019, had set a target of making 100 crore mobile handsets indigenously by 2025, valued at about Rs 13 lakh crore.

Out of the 100-crore mobile handset manufacturing target, 60 crore units will be for exports valued at about Rs 7 lakh crore.

According to industry body Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), mobile handset exports grew over eight-fold to Rs 11,200 crore in 2018-19 and exceeded imports for the first time.

The President, in his address on Friday, said technology is playing a major role in bringing cities and villages closer.

"So far, more than 1.25 lakh Gram Panchayats have been connected with high speed broadband under the BharatNet scheme," he said.

In 2014, there were 60,000 Common Service Centres in rural areas, a number that has now increased to more than 3.65 lakh. "This has provided employment to more than 12 lakh villagers. Through these centres, the government is delivering more than 45 services in rural areas," he said.

Asserting that digital technology is the foundation of the Industrial Revolution 'Industry 4.0', he said the government has focussed on digital access, digital inclusion and digital empowerment in an "unparalleled manner" through the Digital India Programme.

"It is a matter of pride for the country that digital systems developed in India during the last five years have been a source of inspiration for several countries of the world," he said.

Kovind said more than 121 crore people in the country have Aadhaar cards and about 60 crore people possess RuPay cards.

"A record value of Rs 2 lakh crore has been transacted through UPI in December 2019," he said adding the government has also launched a new version of the BHIM App.

The government has linked about 450 schemes to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) by using the `JAM Trinity' of Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile.

He said over Rs 9 lakh crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT in the last five years. "By plugging the leakages, my Government has saved about Rs 1.70 lakh crore from going into the wrong hands," he added.

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