Invoking Mahatma Gandhi's movement against colonisation, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead a fight against "data colonisation", saying that Indian data must be "owned and controlled" by Indians.
"I pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, in the year of his 150th birth anniversary. Gandhiji led India's movement against political colonisation... Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation," he said addressing the "Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019" here inaugurated by Modi.
Asserting that the data is the "new oil and wealth" in the new world, he said India's data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations. "Honourable Prime Minister, I am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your Digital India mission."
"For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India ... in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian. India's data must be owned and controlled by Indians only, not the global corporates. There is a need to launch a movement to bring back the control of data in our hands," he said.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in October said that all digital payment firms like Google Pay, WhatsApp and the likes, must store data locally for their businesses in the country.
During the event, Ambani also announced that Reliance, which he said had invested Rs 3 lakh crore and catalysed one million jobs in Gujarat, would double its investment and employment numbers over the next decade.
He said Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail would soon launch a new commerce platform for small retailers -- a mega mission which will first be launched in Gujarat and then across the country.
He also announced his plans to create a "fully digital Gujarat" by connecting every home, office, school, college and market through Jio.