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Address by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology; and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar at GPI Global Summit in Pune on 12.06.2023

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The Summit is an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge, best practices of DPI implementation and I believe further the advance of global digital public infrastructure partnerships and the digital economy at the large.

There will be very few exceptions to the reality that digitalization today is accelerating at an unprecedented pace like never seen before in the modern history of mankind. Digitalization is transforming governments, governance, it is transforming business and enterprise, transforming consumers and citizens life all across the world. The global digital economy has seen significant growth and transformation in recent years specifically in the post covid era. It is fundamentally as I said changing the way we operate, changing the way governments operate, changing the way enterprises operate and changing the way consumers have expectations of this new modern world.

According to a report by UNCTAD 2020, the value of global e commerce alone in 2019 exceeded 27 trillion dollars and I am sure that post covid these numbers have increased even further.

As we speak about the DPI and future of DPI. India is a test case and a visible beacon to the impact of efficacy and the efficiency and the impact pf Digital public infrastructure. As the world’s largest democracy and now the world’s largest nation for over 6 and a half decades india’s governance has lagged due to the pressure of the size, distance and other factors.

Previously when 100 rupees left delhi for the benefit of the poor or benefit of a citizen only 15 rupees reached the citizen because the cost of governance, the cost of democracy was 85 rupees out of 100 rupees dispatched.

Due to the power of DPI launched in 2015, that narrative about india the world’s largest country and democracy has transformed significantly where now 100 rupees leaves the state capital or central capital and 100 rupees reaches the benefit for the citizen whose benefit it is intended for. Over 400 billion dollars have been transferred from the government to the citizens of india over the last five years without any leakage and without any intimidation, that is the power of DPI and that is the power that india has demonstrated. Digital economy and its percentage in total economy of india was 3 and 3.5 % in 2014 and is 10% today and we expect by 2020-26 that number reach almost 20% of india’s GDP. This is proliferation of digitalization in the government and the overall ecosystem.

India is working on the obvious need to create multiple frameworks for global standards of cyber law. We all understand here today as the technology and internet has been a force for good there has been an increasing trend that technology and internet can be as much a power for bad and therefore we are working with many many likeminded nations in developing the future cyberlaw framework which is again something that partnership around DPI will enable.

The India Stack and India’s own record in digitalization started with a political vision of our prime minister way back in 2015 that the status quo of 85% leakage, 85% cost of governance, 85% democracy was not acceptable. The country needed to feel the benefit of the governance. Technology must improve the lives of the people. India Stack started with the identity layer which is Aadhaar layer that granted identity, authenticates identity has now become complex stack which is constantly evolving and as we look towards partnership that we signed today, we see this DPI structure evolving and innovating even further and accelerating even further with the advent of technologies like artificial intelligence, language models and therefore I think that the partnership that we are today now proposing around the DPI is truly a partnership that is win-win for all of those nations aorond the world that in a sense that have lacked digitalization these years. This move towards a global DPI framework is really about addressing the fact that technology can and musyt be inclusive and technology must empower even those who are not necessarily developed and advance nation of the world.

DPI framework is really about the future of the governance in this digital age. It deals with inclusion, it deals with transparency, it deals with responsiveness, all of which the people around the world and people in every country are increasingly seeking. The momentum generated during the India’s presidency has significantly garnered visibility for the DPI approach, we have witnessed endorsement at the SCO digital ministers’ level as well as during the quad leaders’ meet as well in the Indo-EU trade and technology council meetings. These endorsement and support serve as a testament to the relevance and potential and the power of the DPI, it also highlights in my opinion what is necessary in going forward there has to be more active collaboration and more active participation from member countries who seek to be part of this digitalization movement and those who want to play an active role in it.

DPI can accelerate human progress toward sustainable development goal, the DPI holds immense potential in various crucial areas in achieving these SDGs and DPIs like identity, digital payment, health has advanced progress on various SDGs like reducing poverty, good health and wellbeing, decent economic growth and industry and innovation.

The DPI is not a one shoe fits all model, this is really about using the power of open source, using the power of partnership and collaborations in creating innovative DPI platforms that work for that country for the people. It relies on the fundamental thesis that technology belongs to all those who consume it, all those who innovate on it and every citizen of the world, every government of the world should be able to harness the power of innovation without having to pay a huge amount of money for it.

This government under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi ji has demonstrated repeatedly across the length and breadth of this nation that DPIs are force multiplier for population that wants to progress and develop. With recent adoption of DPIs in low- and middle-income countries have shown tremendous potential for development. So one part when we talk about governance, we talk about transparency, we talk about efficacy and responsiveness. We should not forget that DPI has a catalytic effect on the digital economy of the nation or the digital economy of the community that is implementing it. They can empower nations to bridge the digital divide, enhance meaningful connectivity, create opportunities for their citizens. Therefore as the representatives of the G20 with the collective contribution of 85% of the global GDP, 75% of global trade and 2/3rd of the global population it certainly becomes incumbent to support those who need it, by collectively investing in DPIs we can unlock a huge high investment multiplier effect in accelerating the growth of digital economies and societies.

The UPI today which is at the centre and the core of one of the world’s fastest growing fintech ecosystem India was essentially a solution to the problem that was government use case of transmitting subsidies to citizens.

We have floated a concept of One Future Alliance, a voluntary initiative that aims to bring together all countries all stakeholders to synergize, to shape, to architect and design the future of DPIs that can be used by all countries and all people.

There are powerful good measures that come out of DPI but it is also important for us to consider that as much as the technology, the internet represents the force of good there are issues of user harm and criminality and our cooperation for G20 digital environment is driven by 3 key points .

First we think that it is important for the governments to formally recognize what the industry already has, security threats to hamper innovation, trust in essential services and consumer confidence.

Second that the security in the digital economy is not a domestic issue, nor is it geographically isolable. Almost the template for cybercrime and cybersecurity is that the criminal/perpetrator is one jurisdiction and the victim is in second jurisdiction and the crime could be in the third jurisdiction. So therefore there is more and more global framework and collaboration is involved. This DPI framework, this One Future Alliance could also be addressing issues of partnership and shaping the future of our approach towards cybersecurity.

Skilling is incredibly important as we set forth and reimagine our ambitions in building and or expanding our digital economy and  it is again an area where we have done a significant amount of work.

The digital economy is the powerful opportunity and the DPIs are the enabler of that powerful opportunity. For india. The india stack and the global DPI summit and the conversations around it are aligning with the india’s presidency vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam where we work as one family for the betterment of our collective future using technologies and DPIs at its core. Both the developed nations and developing nations to harness the opportunities represented by the digital economies, it need not to be the case of haves and have not.

The coming decade should be known as Techade, a decade of technological opportunities and this partnership and this type of partnership certainly will aloow all countries to pursue these emerging digital opportunities. Digital working group will collaborate closely to achieve the outcomes that benefit every member involved. Our collective efforts hold the key towards shaping the brighter future, a brighter digital future for all of us and our people.