LUCKNOW: “Digital technologies have transformed the lives of Indians,” said Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, in his inaugural address at the first G20 Digital Economy Working Group Meeting in Lucknow recently.
During the inaugural session of the meeting, which took place from February 13 to 15, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw; Minister for Heavy Industries, Mahendra Nath Pandey; Rajeev Chandrasekhar and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath highlighted the importance of digital technologies in transforming the lives of people and sustainable development.
Digital, fin inclusion
India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) has led to digital and financial inclusion, delivery of services, prevention of monopolies and security, privacy and good governance.
Chandrasekhar highlighted that under the BJP-led Government, Indians are getting Government benefits directly in their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment towards improving the lives of each and every Indian, and his digitisation initiatives, Chandrasekhar said “In 2015 the Prime Minister launched the Digital India campaign, which focused on three main areas. First and foremost, technology should improve people’s quality of lives; second, it should provide opportunities and third, it should be accessible to all and not monopolized by anyone. This was the PM’s vision.”
Transfer of benefits
He added, “Today, everyone can see the outcome. Because of a lack of technology, previous governments remained ineffective. Even a prime minister had once said that if we give Rs 100 from Delhi, only Rs 15 reaches the beneficiary. We’ve been able to overcome that problem now because of technology. Today, full 100 rupees reach the beneficiaries thanks to digital technology.”
The inauguration day showcased five workshops that covered various topics related to digital public infrastructure, cybersecurity solutions for MSMEs, sustainable development goals, and the use of geospatial technologies. In addition, the meeting showcased digital initiatives from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
On the second day, the delegates discussed two priority areas – digital public infrastructure and cyber security. On the last day, delegates deliberated on the need for digital skilling.
Free for all system
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the meeting, Vaishnaw lauded India’s innovations in the digital ecosystem. “All over the world, you will see that just a handful of companies have monopolised the digital ecosystem. It is only in India that we have created a system which is open and free for all,” the minister said.
He added that India’s digital payment system was unmatched in the world. “Even Google then left its own payment system and adopted UPI. It also wrote to the US Fed saying that India’s payment system has democratisation… A person can do any transaction from Rs 2 to Rs 2 lakh and the average payment settlement time is just 2 seconds,” he said.
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