"We welcome, Prime Minister Modi's support for the Digital India initiative that heralds a new age of participatory democracy and enhances transparency in governance in India, leveling the playing field for vast numbers of India’s citizens," more than 150 American academicians said in a statement.
    
Signatories include holders of prestigious endowed professorships, deans of schools and educators in engineering, medicine, business and the humanities from many of the most prestigious institutions in the US.
    
"We, the undersigned, as faculty representing diverse disciplines in the American academy, join fellow Americans in welcoming India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to California's Silicon Valley on his inaugural visit there September 26-27, 2015," the letter said.
    
At the same time, the academicians hoped that Modi will seek partnership with American academic and business leaders with the expertise and experience to ensure that Digital India realizes its potential without imperiling India’s privacy laws and individual liberties.
    
"We are encouraged by reports that 170 million new bank accounts have opened, accompanied by government-backed catastrophic insurance, bringing hope to the most needy in India. Tying these accounts into the Aadhar identity document program could give many citizens their first clear symbol of empowerment," the statement said.
    
The letter comes weeks after over 100 prominent US-based academics, most of them Indian-Americans, said that they were concerned that the Digital India's potential for increased transparency in bureaucratic dealings with people is 'threatened by its lack of safeguards about privacy of information, and thus its potential for abuse'.

 

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