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FM Sitharaman offers open source network India Stack to other countries

New Delhi, October 14, 2022

India 'setting standards' in using technology to deliver public services; economy doing well: Finance Minister

The country’s open source network for digital public goods and application programming interface, India Stack, is available to other countries that need such expertise, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.

Speaking at an event at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC, Sitharaman said India had set a global benchmark in payments digitization with its Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

“Standing here I want to reiterate that India's public goods are available for countries which need it,” Sitharaman said, adding that India Stack is helping small and medium industries to scale up.

“So if India today can talk of a digital stack, it's not talking of just payment where UPI, which is today acceptable in Singapore, UAE, and many other countries. We are not talking of just Rupay cards, credit cards, QR codes. The apps that are under this larger umbrella of NPCI are all available there, and available for any country which wants it,” she said, referring to the National Payment Corporation of India.

Sitharaman said that increased digitization in payments, direct benefit transfer and delivery of welfare has not only helped India in its fight against Covid-19 and its economic fallout, but also made the country’s growth story is sustainable in the long term.

“There were times when global benchmarks, global standards were the ones which India had to look up to and say we have to catch up to that level. But on the digital side, be it payment, identity, health, education, be it also the way in which your compliance requirements are being taken care of, India has actually set standards,” she said.

“Our economy is doing well, largely because the confidence in what has happened in the last two years is probably felt by people. And that is why I would think the economy's revival is on a sustained path,” she said.

Sitharaman acknowledged that because of the global recession, India’s exports will suffer and the US dollar appreciation will impact the rupee, but added that because of the way technology has been used for public goods, there is a sense of confidence in India will be able to face the current geopolitical headwinds.

India is ready to share its indigenously developed 5G infrastructure with other nations. “The 5G that we've launched in our country is completely standalone. There could be some parts coming from, say, countries like South Korea or our other partners. This is a complete indigenous technology that we can now provide 5G to any country which wants it,” she said.

[The Business Standard]

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