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Dr. Pramod Varma Bets India’s DPI Success Story on Credit Systems, Logistics, and E-commerce

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With a staggering population of 1.4 billion people, India stands as the world’s most populous nation, and it is harnessing the power of technology to reshape its very landscape. At the forefront of this remarkable transformation is Dr. Pramod Varma, a visionary and trailblazer who serves as the Chief Technology Officer of the EkStep Foundation. With an impressive background as the former Chief Architect of Aadhaar, Dr. Varma is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of innovation.

He firmly believes that India is currently witnessing an unprecedented surge in digital inclusion, economic opportunities, and improved access to essential services. He believes that the next chapter in India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) success story will be centered around credit systems, logistics, and e-commerce, particularly through the wide adoption of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

Varma in his keynote address at AWS Public Sector Symposium in New Delhi said, “One of the most remarkable achievements of India’s digital revolution is the rapid increase in banking penetration. In just nine years, the country witnessed a staggering rise from 17% to 80% banking penetration, facilitated by shared eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) systems. This achievement, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), surpassed what would have traditionally taken five decades to accomplish.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KEYNOTE

India’s teledensity, a measure of telephone connections per hundred individuals, saw a significant boost. In just eight years, teledensity rose from 37% to an impressive 93%. Furthermore, the cost of mobile data drastically decreased, making it more accessible to a wider population.

India’s shift from predominantly cash-based transactions to digital payments has been nothing short of remarkable. In just six years, the country became the global leader in digital payments, with 10 billion UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transactions per month and an annual transaction value of $1 trillion. The adoption of digital payment systems has pivoted financial transactions, making them more secure, efficient, and convenient.

India’s transition from paper-based certificates and documents to digital storage has been accelerated through platforms like DigiLocker, powered by AWS. Today, over 6.2 billion verifiable documents and certificates are securely stored on DigiLocker, benefiting more than 195 million people. This shift to digital documentation has simplified processes, reduced bureaucracy, and increased efficiency.

India’s Co-WIN platform has played a pivotal role in the country’s vaccination drive. Offering unified registration and digitally verifiable certificates, India administered a staggering 2.15 billion vaccine doses in just two years. The seamless integration of technology has facilitated the effective distribution and tracking of vaccines, ensuring public health and safety.

The Future of DPI
Over the next three years, India’s DPI will continue to disrupt sectors such as credit systems, logistics, and e-commerce(ONDC). This impact is a result of the combination of public and private innovation, driving formalisation of the economy and empowering businesses and individuals.

Dr. Pramod Varma emphasizes the importance of native innovation and leveraging the power of cloud technology. He urges developers to think locally and build solutions tailored to India’s unique challenges and opportunities.

“With impressive achievements in financial inclusion, telecommunications, digital payments, and healthcare, India is setting a global example for leveraging technology to address societal challenges. As the domino effect of digital India continues, the best is yet to come, promising a brighter and more inclusive future for all,” he concludes.

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