G20 Digital Economy Ministers Meeting  


  • Recently, a virtual meeting of G20 Digital Economy Ministers was hosted by Saudi Arabia in which Indian Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology represented India. 
  • Saudi Arabia is holding the presidency of G20 currently. 

Key Points 

  • Few major initiatives taken by India to tackle covid-19 were highlighted 
  • Early lockdowns which helped in curbing the spread of the virus as well 
  • as preparing for the upcoming challenges effectively. 

Digital innovations for managing Covid-19: 

  • Initiatives like Aarogya Setu mobile app, Covid-19 Quarantine 
  • Alert System (geofencing system for monitoring quarantined patients) and Covid-19 Savdhan (bulk messaging systems).  

Digital innovations for helping people in general: 

  • Direct Benefit Transfers and digital payments ensured that even the weakest in the society was provided various financial relief during the lockdown. 

India emphasised upon: 

  • Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence should be leveraged for inclusive growth and development especially in healthcare and education. 
  • In the wake of a pandemic like Covid-19, there is a need for building a resilient global supply chain. 
  • India’s potential as an attractive destination for investment closely integrated with global supply chains was also brought intofocus. 
  • All digital platforms need to be accountable and sensitive towards concerns related to defence and data privacy of citizens of sovereign countries. 
  • The comments follow the Indian government’s move to ban 59 Chinese applications citing a threat to national security and sovereignty. 

India’s step for data protection: 

India is soon going to put in place a robust personal data protection law (Personal Data Protection Bill 2019) which will not only address the data privacy-related concerns of citizens but also ensure availability of data for innovation and economic development. 

Way Forward 

  • The digital economy must go hand in hand with the data economy because the data is an important component to accelerate the digital economy. 
  • There is a need to acknowledge who has sovereignty over data.Datamust belong to the sovereign nation concerned, to protect the privacy of its people, to protect digital concerns for its people. 
  • Digital platforms having a presence in many countries must be come trust worthy, safe and secure. 
  • Digital platforms anywhere in the world should be responsive and accountable towards the sovereign concerns of countries including defence, privacy and security of citizens 

Source: Indian Express and PIB 

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