The second G20 Sherpa Meeting in Kumarakom began with an all-day focus on the critical role of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in improving development outcomes and India’s experience in implementing DPI at scale in the past decade.

The event was organised by the G20 Secretariat in partnership with Nasscom, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).

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India’s G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant, along with Nasscom President, Debjani Ghosh, inaugurated the DPI Experience Zone in the presence of Sherpas and delegates from G20 members, invited countries and international organisations.

The immersive Digital India Experience zone highlighted key DPIs developed by India to address issues such as digital identity, financial inclusion, and equitable access to education and health. Population-scale DPIs of India Stack such as Aadhaar, Co-Win, UPI, DigiLocker, BHASHINI and others were showcased in the experience zone, which also saw the presence of private sector enterprises such as Google, Microsoft, PayTM, Fractaboo, AWS and TCS, which showcased the innovation potential of DPI.

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In his inaugural address, Amitabh Kant noted the crucial role of DPI in providing inclusive access to public services. He emphasised the achievements and huge strides India has made in the past few years in the digital domain, and highlighted the potential benefit of adoption of DPIs globally, especially in developing countries and the Least Developed Countries.

Kant underlined open standards, open API, and interoperability as the hallmarks of India’s DPI.

The event started with a special session on the importance and need of DPIs, titled ‘Why DPI?’ and was followed by three sessions on (1) ‘How DPI Delivers for People, Planet and Prosperity’, (2) ‘DPI in the Global Context - How different countries are approaching DPIs and key learnings’, and (3) ‘Scaling DPI: Challenges & Opportunities’.

The special session “Why DPI?” started with virtual messages from eminent global leaders Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder & Chairman of the Board, Infosys, and Thierry Bretton, Commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union, who addressed the participants on the utility of DPIs and India’s ambitious DPI agenda.

Joint Secretary, G20, Nagaraj Naidu, highlighted the promise that DPI holds in accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals: from cash transfers and food distribution, to e-commerce and innovative models of education and healthcare delivery.

With India emerging as a global digital centre, its leadership in building inclusive public technologies has not only empowered the nation, but also opened a plethora of related businesses and opportunities. DPI systems have become a critical foundation to enabling meaningful delivery of public and private services, and underpinning the achievement of a range of SDGs, including poverty reduction, financial inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, and climate resilience.