Pune: G20 DEWG’s Third Meeting Commences with Focus on Global DPI Summit and Exhibition

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Pune, 12th June 2023: The G20 DEWG’s third meeting commenced today with the commencement of the Global DPI Summit and Global DPI Exhibition. The event was inaugurated by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State in Electronics and IT and MSDE. Ministers from nine countries, namely Suriname, Armenia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Antigua and Barbuda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Malawi, and Trinidad and Tobago, were present at the inauguration.

During the inaugural session, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Chair of G20 DEWG and Secretary of MeitY, welcomed the delegates and provided an overview of the three-day event. He emphasized the priority areas, including the One Future Alliance related to DPI, the Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository, the Toolkit on Cyber Education and Cyber Awareness of Children and Youth, and the virtual Centre of Excellence (CoE) on national skills frameworks. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for E&IT and MSDE, highlighted that DPI is not a one-size-fits-all model. He emphasized the importance of utilizing open source technology, partnerships, and collaborations to create innovative DPI platforms that cater to the specific needs of each country and its people. He also emphasized India’s role as a test case for the success of DPIs and how other countries can look to India for inspiration in their digital transformation efforts. India signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with three countries, namely Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname, to share its successful digital solutions implemented at a population scale, known as INDIA STACK.

One of the panel discussions titled ‘Overview of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)’ was chaired by Mr. Melford Walter Fitzgerald Nicholas, Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. The session was moderated by Mr. Abhishek Singh, P&CEO of NeGD. The panelists included Mr. Sushil Pal, JS of MeitY and G20 DEWG Co-Chair, India, Dr. R. S. Sharma, Chairman of GSDPDC, Mr. S Gopalkrishnan, CEO of NHA, Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Special Secretary of MEA, Ms. Christine Martin Meier, Director of Digital Public Goods Charter, and Ms. Keyzom Ngodup Massally, Head of Digital Programmes at UNDP. The discussion focused on the common principles and design of DPI, such as open standards, open architecture, partnerships, digital ecosystems, interoperability, low-cost solutions, and high trust. The panelists also highlighted the initiatives undertaken by various countries and the United Nations in this regard.

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Another panel discussion titled ‘Digital Identities for empowering people’ was chaired by Mr. Eliud Okech Owalo, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya. Mr. Rupinder Singh, CEO of UIDAI, moderated the session, and the speakers included Mr. Jonathan Marskell from the World Bank, Mr. Vivek Raghavan, Chief AI Evangelist at EkStep, Mr. Rene C. Mendoza, Assistant National SS & ISS from the Philippines, and Ms. Barbara Ubaldi from the OECD. The discussion emphasized that digital identity serves as the foundation for digital transformation and is crucial for national priorities and social cohesion. The panelists explored various models of implementation, including centralized, federated, and decentralized approaches, and discussed in detail the Aadhaar system in India and the PhilSys in the Philippines.

A panel discussion on ‘Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion’ was chaired by Mr. Mohammed Khamis Abdulla, Permanent Secretary of Tanzania. Mr. Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India, moderated the session, and the speakers included Mr. Pawan Bakhshi.


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