Science & Tech

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI): The New Economic Backbone of India

India’s digital public infrastructure (DPI) is a one-of-a-kind modern marvel, bringing together the government, regulators, private sector, volunteers, startups, and academia to build a superstructure that provides consistent, affordable, and all-encompassing value to citizens, the government, and the corporate sector.

What is the digital civic infrastructure in India? (DPI)

  • The term “digital public infrastructure” (DPI) in India refers to a collection of technological systems, platforms, and services that allow the Indian government, businesses, and people to communicate digitally.
  • The DPI is also known as the India Stack because it was created through a unique collaboration between the government, regulators, the business sector, selfless volunteers, startups, and academia/think tanks.
  • Aadhaar (a biometric identity system), e-KYC (electronic know your customer), UPI (Unified Payments Interface), and DigiLocker are all components of the India Stack. (a cloud-based document storage system).

DPI in India

  • India was the first nation to create all three foundational DPIs: India became the first country to create all three foundational DPIs, digital identity (Aadhar), real-time fast payment (UPI), and a platform for securely sharing personal data without compromising privacy, through India Stack. (Account Aggregator built on the Data Empowerment Protection Architecture or DEPA)
  • In India, technological-legal regulatory frameworks are used to accomplish policy objectives through public-technology design.
  • For example, India’s DEPA provides individuals with technological tools to exercise their rights under applicable privacy laws. In a nutshell, this techno-legal governance system incorporates data protection principles into a public-technology stack.
  • DPI is the most feasible approach because of its cheap cost, interoperability, and scalable design, as well as its safeguards against monopolies and digital colonisation.

The private industry and Aadhaar

  • Aadhaar Rebirth: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision made Aadhaar the rocket ship that launched effective governance in India. Aadhaar is currently used in over 1,700 Union and State government programmes.
  • Aadhaar and the private sector: Following the Supreme Court’s upholding of privacy rights, Aadhaar is progressively being made available to the private sector. Aadhaar holders can use their Aadhaar numbers for private sector purposes freely, and regulated entities can keep Aadhaar numbers in secure vaults. These shifts are causing India Stack to leapfrog ahead.
  • Three modifications: The next leapfrogging of the India Stack will occur with three changes: voluntary use of Aadhaar for private sector purposes, sharing of Aadhaar data between government departments, and the establishment of a new private sector-friendly UIDAI.

DigiYatra and DigiLocker

  • The greenfield market innovation potential of India Stack can unleash a variety of services such as DigiYatra, which provides a free biometric-enabled seamless travel experience via facial recognition systems, and DigiLocker, which has 150 million users and six billion stored documents.
  • DigiLocker is being rolled out in a number of countries around the globe.
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