Ashwini Vaishnaw Outlines India’s Top Focus Points at the G20 Digital Economy Ministers Meeting

19 August, 2023 | Anamika Singh Parihar

Ashwini Vaishnaw National

Union Minister Vaishnaw highlights India's priorities for Digital Economy Working Group: DPI, security, scaling

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, speaking at the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meeting, emphasized the three main focus areas chosen by India’s presidency for the Digital Economy Working Group. These are Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), Security in the Digital Economy, and Digital Scaling. Vaishnaw noted that these priorities align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision.

He mentioned that these priorities are in harmony with the wider global objective of nurturing a digital economy that ensures security, inclusivity, and fairness for everyone.

“PM Modi believes in the democratization of technology,” Vaishnaw said.

The Union minister also highlighted Bengaluru’s position as a hub for innovation, housing some of the world’s most pioneering companies in the tech sector.

“We have assembled to deliberate on issues that will define the growth of the digital economy. Bengaluru is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world,” he said.

The G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meeting provides a distinct platform for nations to collaborate and exchange insights on these urgent matters. As discussions progress, novel solutions and cooperative strategies are expected to arise, shaping the course of the global digital economy in alignment with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a technology-driven future that brings advantages to all of humanity.

Addressing the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ Meet through a video message, PM Modi acknowledged the initiation of the Digital India initiative in 2015 as the catalyst for the remarkable digital transformation in India over the past nine years. He highlighted that India’s digital advancement is grounded in its strong belief in innovation and its dedication to swift implementation, all while being underpinned by the ethos of inclusivity, ensuring no one is left behind.

PM Modi noted that India boasts 850 million internet users who enjoy some of the world’s most affordable data costs, spotlighting the extensive scale, rapid pace, and comprehensive nature of India’s digital transformation.

He referenced the JAM trinity—Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar, and Mobile—that have revolutionized financial inclusion. He also discussed the UPI payment system, where nearly 10 billion transactions are executed monthly, with India accounting for 45 percent of global real-time payments.

Additionally, the prime minister shed light on the Direct Benefits Transfer program, which addresses inefficiencies within the system and minimizes discrepancies.

“Fully digitized taxation systems are promoting transparency and e-governance”, PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister expressed contentment about the working group’s initiatives, including the establishment of a G20 virtual Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository. He emphasized that advancements in the Common Framework for Digital Public Infrastructure would contribute to creating an open, responsible, and equitable digital environment for all.

He also warmly welcomed the endeavors to craft a roadmap for facilitating international comparisons of digital skills and the establishment of a Virtual Center of Excellence for Digital Skilling. He stated that these initiatives hold significance in addressing the requirements of a workforce prepared for the future.

Recognizing the global expansion of the digital economy and its inherent security threats, the Prime Minister stressed the necessity of achieving agreement on the G20 High-Level Principles for ensuring a Secure, Trusted, and Resilient Digital Economy.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister highlighted the achievements of the Government e-Marketplace, an online platform for public procurement that has introduced transparency and integrity into the process. He also mentioned the Open Network for Digital Commerce, which is democratizing e-commerce.

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