In a significant virtual address, today Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged with the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meet held in Bengaluru. The event brought together esteemed dignitaries to discuss the digital economy and its implications. Highlighting the essence of Bengaluru as a hub of science, technology, and entrepreneurship, the Prime Minister emphasized the city’s role as an apt location for such discussions.
Digital Transformation Powered by Innovation
Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the monumental impact of the Digital India initiative launched in 2015, which has catalyzed India’s remarkable digital transformation. He attributed this transformation to the nation’s unwavering belief in innovation, rapid implementation, and inclusive progress. The ethos of inclusion ensures that no individual is left behind as technology reshapes the landscape.
Unveiling India’s Digital Achievements
Delving into the digital realm, Prime Minister Modi highlighted India’s achievements. With a staggering 850 million internet users, the country boasts affordable data costs, making it a global leader in this domain. The transformative potential of technology is evident in initiatives like Aadhaar, the unique digital identity platform that covers over 1.3 billion individuals. This innovation paves the way for efficient governance and inclusive financial systems.
The Prime Minister also emphasized the JAM trinity – Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar, and Mobile – which revolutionized financial inclusion. He spotlighted the UPI payment system, where India accounts for 45% of global real-time payments. The Direct Benefits Transfer mechanism was lauded for curbing leakages and saving billions. The CoWIN portal, vital for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, enabled the administration of 2 billion doses and digitally verifiable certificates.
Leveraging Technology for Transformation
PM Modi highlighted the Gati-Shakti platform, utilizing technology for infrastructure and logistics mapping, thereby expediting planning and delivery. Government e-Marketplace was commended for transparency in public procurement, while the Open Network for Digital Commerce was heralded for democratizing e-commerce. The digitization of taxation systems fosters transparency and efficient governance.
The Prime Minister’s mention of Bhashini, an AI-powered language translation platform, showcased India’s commitment to digital inclusion across diverse languages.
India’s Global Role in Digital Solutions
PM Modi underscored India’s role as a diverse testing ground for solutions, with its plethora of languages, religions, and cultural practices. Successful solutions in India can be globally applicable, exemplified by the CoWIN platform’s international offering during the pandemic. The Prime Minister highlighted the Global Public Digital Goods Repository – India Stack, ensuring inclusivity for all, especially from the Global South.
G20’s Digital Agenda
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the G20’s initiatives, including the creation of a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository and a Common Framework for Digital Public Infrastructure. He welcomed efforts to facilitate cross-country comparisons of digital skills and the establishment of a Virtual Centre of Excellence on Digital Skilling.
Addressing security concerns, Prime Minister Modi stressed the need for consensus on the G20 High-Level Principles for a Secure, Trusted, and Resilient Digital Economy.
Shaping a Digital Future
Highlighting technology’s transformative potential, Prime Minister Modi urged G20 nations to lay the foundation for an inclusive, prosperous, and secure global digital future. Digital Public Infrastructure could enhance financial inclusion and productivity. He proposed promoting digital technology adoption in agriculture and small businesses, establishing a global digital health ecosystem, and formulating guidelines for responsible AI use. The Prime Minister concluded with a call for conviction, commitment, coordination, and collaboration, expressing confidence in the working group’s ability to drive humanity’s tech-based solutions forward.
In summary, Prime Minister Modi’s address at the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meet underlines India’s strides in digital transformation, its role as a global digital leader, and its commitment to inclusive progress through technology.