Follow Us:

Benefits of digital transformation must reach all: PM Modi

Modi, however, lamented that till now the world has seen this powerful tool only from the criteria of simple business, keeping it tied in the ledgers of profit and loss.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Observing that the proper use of digital technologies could become a force multiplier in the decades-long global fight against poverty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called upon G-20 countries to make efforts to ensure that the benefits of digital transformation were not confined to a small part of the human race.

”Digital solutions can also be helpful in the fight against climate change – as we all saw in the examples of remote-working and paperless green offices during Covid. But these benefits will be realised only when the digital access is truly inclusive and when the use of digital technology is really widespread,” he said addressing a session on ”Digital Transformation” at the G-20 Summit in Bali.

Modi, however, lamented that till now the world has seen this powerful tool only from the criteria of simple business, keeping it tied in the ledgers of profit and loss.

The PM said that India’s experience of the past few years has shown that if digital architecture was made inclusive, it could bring about socio-economic transformation. Digital use could bring scale and speed. Transparency could be brought into governance.

”India has developed digital public goods whose basic architecture has in-built democratic principles. These solutions are based on open source, open APIs, and open standards, which are interoperable and public. This is our approach based on the digital revolution that is going on in India today. Take, for example, our Unified Payment Interface (UPI),” he told the gathering of world leaders.

Modi pointed out that last year, over 40 per cent of the world’s real-time payment transactions took place through UPI. ”Similarly, we opened 460 million new bank accounts on the basis of digital identity, making India a global leader in financial inclusion today. Our open-source CoWIN platform made the biggest vaccination campaign in human history, a success even during the pandemic,” he noted.

He said India was making digital access public while at the international level, there was still a huge digital divide. ”Citizens of most developing countries of the world do not have any kind of digital identity. Only 50 countries have digital payment systems,” he noted.

The PM wondered if the G-20 countries could take a pledge together that in the next ten years they would bring digital transformation into the life of every human being so that no person in the world was deprived of the benefits of digital technology.

Modi said that during its G-20 Presidency next year, India would work jointly with G-20 partners towards this objective. The principle of “Data for development” would be an integral part of the overall theme of India’s Presidency “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

He said India was taking charge of the G-20 at a time when the world was simultaneously grappling with geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown, rising food and energy prices, and the long-term ill effects of the pandemic. ”At such a time, the world is looking at the G-20 with hope. Today, I want to assure you that India’s G-20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented,” he said.

”Over the next one year, we will strive to ensure that the G-20 acts as a global prime mover to envision new ideas and accelerate collective action. The sense of ownership over natural resources is giving rise to conflict today, and has become the main cause of the plight of the environment,” he added.

Modi was of the view that the need today was that the benefits of development were universal and all-inclusive. ”We have to extend the benefits of development to all human beings with compassion and solidarity. Global development is not possible without women’s participation. We have to maintain priority on women-led development even in our G-20 agenda. Without peace and security, our future generations will not be able to take advantage of economic growth or technological innovation,” he added. The PM said the G-20 has to convey a strong message in favour of peace and harmony.