Business 20 Summit: Nandan Nilekani hails India’s digital public infrastructure
India is becoming a single, online, high-productivity, and formal mega economy with its growing digital public infrastructure, Infosys Co-founder and…
Statesman News Service | New Delhi | August 27, 2023 12:54 pm
India is becoming a single, online, high-productivity, and formal mega economy with its growing digital public infrastructure, Infosys Co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani said on Sunday. Addressing the Business 20 or B20 Summit in Delhi, the Infosys Chairman said that the country’s digital public infrastructure (DPI) such as Aadhar, UPI payments interface, and Digi-locker are not just “good to have” but “must have”.
“What is fundamentally happening is India is going from an offline, informal, low-productivity, multiple set of micro-economies to a single online, formal, high-productivity mega economy. This is the trend of the next 20 years,” Nilekani said.
Nilekani, considered by many as a driving force behind India’s digital revolution, lauded India’s DPI and how it benefitted millions of people during the coronavirus pandemic.
“India was able to transfer $4.5 billion to the bank accounts of 150 million citizens during Covid owing to DPIs, while 700 million people already have their bank accounts connected to their Aadhaar numbers,” he said.
“To complement it, we have an extraordinary startup ecosystem. In 2016, we had 1,000 startups. Now we have 1 lakh. It is not a linear growth of 10 percent but a 10x growth,” he added.
The Infosys co-founder highlighted the concept of monetising data footprints by individuals and companies, something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world except in India.
Watch Nandan Nilekani addressing the B20 Summit below
“Whenever you use a digital platform, it creates data. India has invented a unique idea of how individuals and companies can use their own data footprint to monetise it. This data footprint is their digital capital. And individuals can use digital capital to get ahead in life. This concept doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.”
“We think this model is unique, it’s collaborative, it’s equitable, and it’s based on the principle that opportunity must be made available to everyone in the country, irrespective of where they are,” he further said.
He also stressed the need for individual cash transfers in order to help people with climate mitigation and building a circular economy. Nilekani said that India’s digital public infrastructure is being recognized by people like Bill Gates and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“This is something that is now gaining global recognition, and now whether it’s Bill Gates or whether it’s the IMF, they’re all recognizing India’s unique contribution to digital public infrastructure. And therefore, there is now a major move afoot to take this model to 50 countries in five years,” he said.
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