“India could show the world how to do it right,” claims American economist Paul Romer

21 June, 2023 | Disha Singh

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The discussions between economist Romer and PM Modi encompassed India's digital advancements, including the adoption of Aadhar.

Paul Romer, an American economist and Nobel Prize winner met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20th June, Tuesday in New York. Their discussion revolved around India’s Aadhar-based authentication system, its potential to set a global standard for effective implementation, and Indian developments like Digilocker and Aadhar

“Just as India did this for Aadhar, I think for telephony and electronic authentication, India could show the world how to do it right,” said Romer.

The discussions between Romer and Prime Minister Modi encompassed India’s digital advancements, including the adoption of Aadhar and innovative solutions like Digilocker. Additionally, they focused on various initiatives for sustainable development.

After he met with Romer, PM Modi tweeted, “Glad to have met the noted economist and Nobel laureate, Professor @paulmromer. We had extensive conversations on leveraging technology to improve lives. We also talked about how to make our cities more sustainable and people-friendly.”

Romer described the encounter as productive, emphasizing the importance of successful urban development and commending Prime Minister Modi’s understanding of the subject. He expressed excitement about India’s unique position, facilitated by the Aadhar system, enabling the government to accomplish tasks that many other governments cannot.

Romer believes that India can exemplify effective telephony and electronic authentication to the world. During his State visit to the United States, Prime Minister Modi engaged with leaders from different sectors, including Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

Romer, who is currently the Senior Vice President of the World Bank, mentioned his previous meeting with Prime Minister Modi in 2013, during which they discussed the significance of successful urban development and the necessary government actions in this domain.

He expressed his enthusiasm for learning about India’s authentication initiatives and the opportunities they present. “So for me, a good day is when I learned something and I learned a lot about what India is doing on this issue of authentication,” said Romer.

Romer received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2018 for his contributions to understanding long-term economic growth and its relationship with technological innovation. His work highlighted how technological advancements generated through human economic activities sustain economic growth and emphasized the necessity of government intervention in research and development (R&D) investment and well-designed intellectual property laws to foster sustained growth.