Desh Deshpande speaking at the MIT India conference 2016
Desh Deshpande speaking at the MIT India conference 2016

BOSTON (Diya TV) — The MIT Media Lab, is in the fourth decade of creating innovations that are aimed at transforming the world around us. The Lab buzzing with futuristic ideas, might just be the perfect crucible to host the MIT India Conference 2017 focusing on ‘Digital India.’ The annual conference, held this year on April 9, 2017, aims to bring together students, educators, technocrats, entrepreneurs and politicos to brainstorm new solutions to the immense challenges in India.

The idea of ‘Digital India,’ however, has taken a new meaning after the banknote demonetization that took place in November of last year. It has brought forth some important debates around corruption, governance and the socio-political will to combat it. While the full consequences of the initiative are yet to be seen, the surge in the digital economy along with the need for inclusive digital growth is in the limelight. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made ‘cashless society’ the national mission by imploring each individual to teach 125 others to use the BHIM digital payment app. A distant cry from the days of ‘each one teach one’ slogan when education was seen as the social responsibility.

India’s literacy rate today is at 74%. A March 16 report based on Pew Research Center polls has found that in 2016, only 21% of Indians use the internet at least occasionally or own a smartphone. A slew of projects by government, non-profit and private sectors could potentially fill the gap to adopt technology and the lack of supportive infrastructure.

However there are many questions that need to be debated and discussed. Ones the MIT India conference aims to answer…What will be the scale of this digital transition? What should our milestones be? How will we navigate the sociopolitical diversity and related blockades? How can each one of the almost half billion internet users spur the economy?

These and many other questions will be addressed by a stellar panel of speakers, including: Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister of Information Technology and Law and Justice, Government of India), Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Indian Economist and former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission), Shekhar Kapur (Director, Producer, and Actor), Sudhanshu Vats (Group CEO, Viacom 18), Amit Midha (President and Executive VP, Dell Asia Pacific & Japan), Radhika Ghai Aggarwal (Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer,, Rob Stoner (Deputy Director, MIT Energy Initiative, and Founding Director, Tata Center) and Vish Mishra (Venture Capitalist, Entrepreneur, Director – TiE).

Panel topics include: ‘Startup India: Envisioning The Next Chapter,’ ‘Leveraging Technology for Social Impact’ and ‘Imagining India 2030: Building Innovative Corporations.’

The conference aims to: focus on how the digital and technological revolution is changing the social, political and economic landscape of the country. It will explore disruptive innovations and practical solutions adopted by different entities—government, big corporations and emerging start-ups—to empower the country with increased access to different technologies, services and information to make the vision of Digital India a reality.

Conference Co-Chair, Priyanka Chaturvedi told Diya TV “I am hoping audience will learn how digital and tech innovations are affecting different segments- urban and rural and sectors in India- media, entertainment, startups, corporations, and energy. The audience will also learn from perspectives and  comprehensive discussions on on the future of India in this digital age.”

In its last six years, the MIT India Conference has built an ecology of inspired professionals. They carry its ideas for a prosperous India across the globe, in the belief that India and the world at large reaps the benefits. To be a part of it, you could plan your weekend at Boston, Massachusetts—it’s spring time, when everything gets revitalized.

Diya TV is a sponsor of the event.Visit for more tickets & more information.