Digital Public Infrastructure
The United Nations’ promise of ‘Leaving no one behind’ in the pursuit of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a formidable undertaking. India, with its vast and diverse population, has embarked on a noteworthy journey to fulfill this commitment. At the heart of this progress lies the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), a potent tool that has not only transformed India’s digital landscape but also offers global lessons in maximizing development efforts.
GS – 2, GS – 3 (Government Policies & Interventions, E-Governance, Inclusive Growth, Science & Technology, Space Technology)
Digital Public Infrastructure, Aadhaar, UPI, Account Aggregators, India Stack
Examine the role of Digital Public Infrastructure in India’s pursuit of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. How can the lessons learned from India’s digital journey be applied to enhance international development efforts? (250 words)
Dimensions of the Article:
- A Global Framework for Digital Public Goods
- Norway’s Stance on Digital Public Goods
- Addressing Food Insecurity Through Digital Solutions
- Balancing Digital Progress and Privacy Concerns
- The Compass for the Digital Journey
A Global Framework for Digital Public Goods:
- India, during its G-20 presidency, has propelled the digital public goods agenda onto the global stage.
- The G-20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure serves as a common ground for nations to collectively drive development, inclusion, innovation, trust, and competition while upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- The emergence of digital public goods exemplifies a shift in global dynamics, with countries in the global South taking the lead. India’s contribution through the Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP) has provided over 97 million people in diverse countries access to a digital identity, showcasing the potential of Digital South-South cooperation.
Norway’s Stance on Digital Public Goods:
- Norway, a fervent supporter of digital public goods, stands as a co-founder and member of the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA).
- The nation’s commitment to making at least one national digital good globally accessible aligns with the collaborative spirit necessary for collective development.
- Norwegian digital public goods, such as the Yr weather services, VIPS plant health warning system, and District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2), have transcended borders, contributing significantly to global challenges.
- These include weather forecasting, agricultural sustainability, and health management information systems.
Addressing Food Insecurity Through Digital Solutions:
- In response to the pressing challenge of global food insecurity, digital public goods registered under the DPGA are actively contributing to SDG2.
- With 24 such goods targeting ending hunger, digital solutions emerge as critical tools in addressing one of the defining challenges of our time.
Balancing Digital Progress and Privacy Concerns:
- The evolution of the digital domain prompts reflections on privacy, data security, and the financial sustainability of digital protocols.
- Governments and businesses face the challenge of ensuring data protection while maintaining an open, free, and secure Internet, steering clear of fragmentation or vendor-lock situations.
The Compass for the Digital Journey:
- Certifying and pooling digital public goods under the global leadership of the DPGA provides a compass for navigating the complexities of the digital landscape.
- This approach safeguards digital sovereignty, ensuring countries can benefit from open solutions without compromising their independence.
The journey towards ‘Leaving no one behind’ is intricately tied to the advancements in digital public infrastructure. India’s strides in this arena, coupled with Norway’s commitment and global collaborations, showcase the potential for collective progress. As nations navigate the complexities of digital development, the compass provided by the DPGA ensures a unified and sustainable approach, ultimately contributing to the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.