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In this Idea Exchange, Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, speaks about the elections in Gujarat, the new Cabinet Committee on Investment and pending Bills in Parliament. The session was moderated by Senior Assistant Editor DK Singh.
D K Singh: What is it like being out of the HRD ministry?
Kapil Sibal: I am not as stretched as I was before, so I can devote more time to my constituency. The telecom ministry is very exciting. The challenges are also huge. The IT sector is going to be the most important sector for India in the future because it will be the vehicle of delivery of public services, of all forms of content. The challenge is to create the infrastructure, ensure the last mile connectivity, ensure that content and traffic run on that infrastructure on an economic model which brings profitability to the service provider as well as the content provider. If you can build that kind of architecture, I think India's future will be secure. There's a huge opportunity here for e-governance, e-education, e-medicine, entertainment and sports. A cash transfer regime is just one aspect of how you bridge the divide.
D K Singh: How significant are the Assembly results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for the Congress and for national politics?
Kapil Sibal: As important as any other result. We should not over-emphasise the significance of Gujarat. I think this is media hype. Gujarat is not a litmus test for the rest of India. I think with the ICT revolution, he who controls the media has a great advantage in the elections. The media plays an exceptional role and the media has hyped Modi, taken him from a villain to an avatar. If you can use the media well, there is a pro-incumbency for the government that is in power.