Union communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal rejected the notion that the government is trying to control or monitor the Internet. He also said the Internet is highly important for the country as it allows the 'voiceless to be heard'.
Addressing the Google Big Tent event in New Delhi, Sibal said: "We are wedded to the freedom of expression and will do nothing to diminish that freedom. Internet governance to me is an oxymoron. How can you govern anybody on the net, you cannot.”
“The net must govern itself ... It's a platform where we need to talk to each other on a daily basis. And also adhere to certain rules of the game. You cannot play cricket without rules, you cannot play baseball without rules."
Reiterating commitment for the growth of the platform, Sibal also said the Internet is the most ‘inclusive, transformative force’ ever that has brought people closer across the world.
"The internet is necessary for India ... it gives a chance for the voiceless to be heard," said Sibal at Google Big Tent, an event in Delhi. "Internet is the most important and transformative forum."
Sibal's comments at a time when the government is facing flak for trying to regulate the online content. Last year, the government asked the Internet companies like Twitter and Google to take down 'objectionable' content from their websites.
According to the latest Google's transparency report, India ranks second in the world for accessing private details of its Internet citizens. The report showed India made an average of 13 requests a day to Google to share user details in 2012.
In total, India made 4,750 such requests to Google in 2012, only second to the U.S' total of 16,407 requests. With 3,239 requests, France stood third, while Germany's 3,083, UK's 2,883 and Brazil's 2,777 made it to the top five.
During his India tour, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt urged the Indian government to stop trying to control the Internet and instead concentrate on ensuring the technology is used for the benefits of the common masses and local business.
“Now is the moment for India to decide what kind of internet it wants for them: an open internet that benefits all or a highly regulated one that inhibits innovation.”
“The past 10 years show that the safest economic, social and political bet is on openness. Where there is a free and open Web, where there is unbridled technological progress, where information can be disseminated and consumed freely, society flourishes,” he said in an article.