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India expands partnership on digital public infrastructure experience-sharing at G20

India expands partnership on digital public infrastructure experience-sharing at G20

India recently concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four countries to share its digital stack experience with them. The countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Sierra Leone and Suriname.

This was during the third edition of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (G20 DEWG) session which took place from June 12-14 and served as yet another platform for India to showcase its leading role in the development of these technologies, according to a government news release.

The India stack is a combination of all digital solutions based on the Aadhaar ID which enables the seamless delivery of services at population scale.

The meeting featured side events which included a Global Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) summit, a global DPI exhibition, side events and a closed-door meeting.

The G20 DEWG meeting focussed on three themes: DPI, Digital Skilling and Cybersecurity in a digital economy environment.

The gathering brought together about 150 delegates from 50 countries. Over 250 delegates attended the event in-person while more than 2,000 of them participated virtually to share knowledge and experiences on the topics in focus.

Over 60 experts on DPI shared their experiences in at least ten different sessions which touched on different aspects such as the overview of DPI, digital identity, digital payments and financial inclusion, DPI for judicial systems and regulations, public key infrastructure for DPI, DPI for education and skilling, health and climate action and agriculture. The different sessions were moderated by government representatives while speakers were drawn from different relevant fields.

For the DPI exhibition segment, different products and services in the implementation of DPIs were on display. DPIs related to Digital Identity, Fast Payment, DigiLocker, Soil Health Card, E-National Agriculture Market, Unified Mobile App for New-Age Governance, Open Network for Digital Commerce, seamless travel experience at airports, language translation, learning solution, tele-medical consultation, and Digital India Journey were also showcased.

Discussion during the closed-door meeting was also dominated by DPI including on principles for good DPI development and the need for financing opportunities for DPI in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), among other things. Participants included officials from 77 G20 delegations, nine guest countries, five international organizations and two regional organizations, the release mentions.

Also speaking recently about Singapore’s digital innovation progress, the country’s foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan said they have built a strong digital ID system and have partnered with India to make use of its UPI for instant and seamless digital payments. This is according to a transcript of her intervention during a Council on Foreign Relations meeting which took place on June 15.

According to the Minister, building these technologies and partnerships have a great economic impact “but you need to get over the political humps to create the public infrastructure which is needed for these systems to run.” She says it also requires a combination of focus on “infrastructure, education, skills, and capacity building.”

In the last few years, India is being applauded as a model of developing DPI and there has been a recommendation for countries developing digital ID ecosystems to copy its example.

The country has also made a case for developing countries to be supported in their efforts to develop DPI since taking over the presidency of the G20.

In May, seven countries partnered with India to adopt its DPI model for digital service delivery.

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