The government of India’s determined digital push in the domestic sphere through flagship schemes like ‘Digital India’ is also getting manifested in the diplomatic sphere. India is one of the few countries that has taken the lead in developing robust digital public infrastructures like Aadhar (Unique Identification Number.) for accessing social benefits, Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CO-WIN) portal for public health, and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for instant money transfer and financial inclusion. These have shown potential for improving public service delivery and overall governance. This has prompted the current government to export/offer India’s stack of digital public goods to its neighbouring countries. For instance, countries like Bhutan and Nepal have adopted the united payments interface. Most of the BIMSTEC countries have a substantial migrant population and therefore, the proliferation of platforms like the UPI would substantially reduce the cost of sending money. Similarly, identifying beneficiaries through unique numbers for welfare schemes could help check corruption and leakages, benefitting people and the respective government(s).  These can substantially alter the governance infrastructure and play an instrumental role in regional integration through digital infrastructure.

The complete paper could be read here.

© 2024 Institute for Competitiveness, India


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