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Internet should not become the monopoly of few : Prasad

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) India firmly holds that internet is one of the finest creations of human mind and it should not become the monopoly of few, said Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday.

“We instinctively value internet to be open, plural and inclusive and access should be without discrimination,” said Prasad at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 55 summit at the summit in Morocco’s Marrakech, according to an official statement here.

A month ago, Indian telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruled against Facebook’s Free Basics programme upholding net neutrality and leaving a level playing field for all players.

About Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, Start up India and Smart Cities, Prasad said the transformative programmes are aimed at creating a knowledge economy and empowered India.

He said the programmes have a defined purpose to bridge the digital divide, unleash the digital literacy massively and create a profound platform of financial and social inclusion.

“All these are being done by leveraging the power of Internet. Our priority is to ensure banking the unbanked, funding the unfunded, securing the unsecured and pensioning the unpensioned,” he said, adding that India currently has one billion mobile phone connections, 400 million internet subscribers -” who grew from 300 million to 400 in just one year – and 980 million unique Aadhar identities crucial for executing subsidies and other connected programmes.

ICANN 55 is one of periodic public meetings organised in different continents to encourage global participation.

Founded in 1998, ICANN is a not-for-profit partnership dedicated to keep the internet secure, stable, interoperable, promote competition and develop policy.