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India approves a trifecta of MoUs to help establish, build on digital ID

India approves a trifecta of MoUs to help establish, build on digital ID

India is reaching out on digital transformation, announcing the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with two nations to cooperate and share on the integration of ID-facing digital technologies at scale.

In separate releases, the Modi government says it has given formal approval to MoUs between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of the Republic of India and Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago and France.

The Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago MoUs commit to “cooperation in the field of sharing successful digital solutions implemented at population scale for digital transformation,” promising “to promote closer cooperation and exchange of experiences and digital technologies-based solutions in the implementation of digital transformational initiatives of both the countries.” It is in effect for a period of three years from the date of signature.

In this instance, India is offering its homegrown India Stack, “DPIs developed and implemented by India at population scale to provide access and delivery of public services,” to help the nations “enhance connectivity, promote digital inclusion, and enable seamless access to public services.”  The India Stack includes and builds on a national digital identity system.

“Over the last few years,” read press releases for both MoUs, “India has demonstrated its leadership in implementation of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and has successfully provided delivery of services to the public even during the COVID pandemic. As a result, many countries have evinced interest in learning from India’s experiences and entering into MoUs with India.”

Reflecting a more even balance in terms of power and infrastructure between India and France, the agreement with France is less comprehensive, intended “to promote closer cooperation and exchange of information pertaining to digital technologies and mutually support each participant’s goal to promote access to digital technology in their country.”

France was rumored earlier this year to be interested in India’s DigiLocker, as well as implementing its Unified Payments Interface.The latest announcement by India’s government refers to India and France as “long-standing strategic partners in the Indo-European region,” and states a commitment to collaborating on empowering citizens to fully participate in the digital ecosystem.

The agreement is in effect for five years.

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