India could potentially have 500-600 technology companies that make more than 5,000 crore in revenue in the next three to four years, said Rajeev Chandrashekhar, minister of state (MoS) for electronics and information technology (IT), at an event by industry body the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on Thursday. The number of such companies in the country currently stands at 25, the minister said. “I don’t say this lightly or just to get a headline for tomorrow’s paper,” he added.

Chandrashekhar took over as MoS in July, ahead of the Monsoon session of the Parliament. He is also the MoS of state for skill development and entrepreneurship. He asked the industry to focus on sectors that create value and said India’s tech sector is looking at big opportunities right now.

“I think evidence of what technology has done is out there, not just among industry leaders, but if you go down to the farthest districts in India. Districts that had never heard or seen government for weeks and months in the past, today, they get financial transfers to their accounts overnight, whether you’re a farmer, migrant workers, or a rural woman heading a household,” he said. “For the Indian tech sector, this time represents an opportunity like never before,” he added.

Further, the minister said the top priority for the ministry was to expand India’s digital economy to a trillion dollars. He said the government’s focus is on expanding Internet connectivity to cover all Indians by 2024-25, and a large part of this will be done by BharatNet’s broadband network.

In addition, the government plans to “embed more technology” in governance and lay out simple rules and laws for governing cyberspace. Future-facing technologies such asartificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing are also areas in which the government wants to expand India’s footprint.

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