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India’s digital public infrastructure reportedly not as popular with G7 nations

India’s digital public infrastructure reportedly not as popular with G7 nations

Since India assumed the G20 presidency in December, the country has been trying to promote its digital public infrastructure (DPI) project among developed nations. But although the Indian government has been aggressively showcasing its digital products during G20 meetings, states that comprise the G7, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S., have been less than enthusiastic about India’s pitch, the Hindustan Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Developed countries had been less interested in adopting India’s digital solutions because of a range of reasons, including regulatory and legislative issues involving data and internet governance.

One of the reasons has also been pushback from established multinational players that dominate global payments processing such as Visa and Mastercard, according to the report. One of India’s main digital public infrastructure tasks has been establishing a cost-effective digital payments system with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

“International lobbies will try to push the agenda of large [multinational corporations] but the digital divide must be bridged and India is committed to this,” a person familiar with the matter told the Hindustan Times.

Known as the “India stack,” India’s DPI initiative is a collection of digital platforms designed to provide Indian citizens with access to government services. Aside from the UPI, the DPI includes the country’s digital identification system Aadhaar, a data exchange platform, as well as services such as Digital Locker for storing documents and DigiYatra for travel.

The project was commended by experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March for aiding the country’s digitalization and economic growth.

India has been pitching its solutions for financial inclusion and digital identity to governments gathered in the G20 in an effort to incubate a framework for global digital commons under the banner “affordable, accessible and inclusive.” Most of the interest the county has seen comes from developing and underdeveloped economies where most of the world’s people without ID live, a person involved with G20 negotiations told the Times.

In December, Nandan Nilekani, architect of the Aadhaar, presented the system to African nations during an ID4Africa livecast.

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