As part of the ongoing Digital India Week 2022 celebrations, the 3-days long virtual event on India Stack Knowledge Exchange kick started on 7th July 2022. The event is an opportunity to showcase India’s most significant contribution to the Digital world – the India Stack, which is a unified software platform to bring India’s 1.4 billion population into the Digital Age. This programme witnessed participation from across the world. The objective is to give an orientation to the basic building blocks of India Stack, which is driving Digital Transformation in India. Indiastack.global was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 4th July 2022, and is a single repository of all major projects on India Stack.
Setting the context of the 3-days’ programme in the inaugural session, Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MeitY, Government of India, spoke of the challenging yet rewarding journey of the country’s Digital Transformation in the last eight years. The journey has fruitfully resulted in India’s leadership in Digital technologies and its experience in implementing Digital transformation projects at population scale. Shri Rajesh Gera, Director General, National Informatics Centre, elaborated on the Aadhaar and mobile as the two services that have enabled good governance to grow and reach out to the end-user, whether in rural or urban area, for ease of living. Shri Abhishek Singh, President and CEO, National e-Governance Division, welcomed all distinguished speakers, while reiterating the fact that each speaker was a pioneer and real practitioner, having implemented Digital Transformation projects at population scale in the country.
The first session was on India Stack’s prime `product, the Aadhaar. Aptly titled ‘Building Aadhaar’, it had distinguished speakers such as Dr. R.S.Sharma, Founding CEO, UIDAI, Dr. Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI, Dr. Pramod Varma, ex-Chief Architect and Advisor, UIDAI, and Mr. Suresh Sethi, MD and CEO, Protean eGov Technologies Ltd. The session was moderated by Dr. Saurabh Garg. It spoke of the evolution of Aadhaar considering all challenges of the diverse population, and overcoming these challenges Aadhaar has enabled ease of living for the citizens, especially the most marginalized and deprived class through seamless delivery of subsidies, benefits, and other services under various state welfare schemes. Aadhaar has also been the foundation of multiple Building Blocks. More than 17 transactional stacks have been launched pan-India for Digital Identity, Payments, Data Empowerment and Open Ecosystems.
The second session on ‘UPI: Leading Digital Payment Ecosystem in India’, was participated by Mr. Amit Agarwal, Additional Secretary, MeitY who also moderated the session. He highlighted on Digital India initiatives, which has ensured inclusive democratized solutions at population scale, keeping the concerns of privacy, consumer protection and potential risk management. Mr. Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO, NPCI and Mr. Sudhanshu Prasad, General Manager, RBI. The distinguished Speakers spoke about UPI being the path-breaking innovation in digital payments and how wallets have revolutionized how people pay in the country. “India’s payment landscape over the last decade has developed into the most advanced payment system with regards to digital payments by volume (CAGR 50%) and value (CAGR 6%),” he quoted.
A parallel session was organised alongside, which brought to the participants the achievements India has achieved in the Education sector through Technology Stack. This session had Dr. Amarendra P.Behara, Joint Director, Central Institute of Educational Technology, Mr. Vijay Kiran Anand, Director General, School Education, Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Director (Digital Education), Department of School Education and Literacy, and Dr. Angel Ratnabai, Assistant Professor, NCERT. The session moderated by Mr. Rajnish Kumar highlighted the significance of the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) in terms of its inclusivity, privacy and security by design. The NDEAR is interoperable so that all stakeholders, including private players, public players, students, teachers, parents, are productively engaged in the learning trajectory. Also, the framework is designed to have lifetime records so that the learnings can be leveraged in the future. The learning journey will include anganwadi, schools, skills and higher education, all working in tandem, which would enable provide seamless progression of a student from pre-school to graduation.
The last thematic session of the day was on Paperless Governance and Data Empowerment. It was moderated by NeGD President and CEO, Shri Abhishek Singh. The speakers included Mr. Amit Jain, Additional Director, NeGD, Ms. Anna Roy, Sr. Advisor to Niti Aayog, Mr. Siddharth Shetty, Lead DEPA Open-Source Protocol depa.global and Mr. Amit Savant, Enterprise Solution Architect, Amazon Web Services. The significance of Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) was suitably highlighted as a strategy for data empowerment towards economic wellbeing for all citizens of India; so, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the accounts are online and the interoperability is through RuPay Debit Card or Aadhaar enabled System (AePS). The KYC / e-KYC formalities are now much easier. DEPA enables data protection, sharing, consent and privacy. Citizens can seamlessly and securely access their data and share it with third party institutions. The panel also discussed India Stack’s highlight, the API Setu aimed at good data governance, and which enables quick and transparent software integration with the other e-Governance applications and systems.
Day 1 of the virtual event successfully concluded with 19 distinguished Speakers – all pioneers in their respective thematic areas, disseminating their experience and knowledge to more than 5000 registered participants across 53 countries. Day 2 will witness thematic sessions on Health Stack, AgriStack, and Technology Stack for Skilling and Digital Inclusion – Connecting the Unconnected. With over 5654 registered participants of both national and international practitioners from the Government, Industry and the Academia, the event has served as a knowledge exchange platform for India to speak of its contribution to the repository of Global Digital Public Goods.