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Digital Public Infrastructure: Innovating together towards India-Nepal digital bridges

Posted on: December 12, 2023

Embassy of India, Kathmandu organized a seminar on Digital Public Infrastructure: Innovating together towards India-Nepal digital bridges 12 December 2023 to explore the transformative potential of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for driving innovation in the digital economy with a special emphasis on India-Nepal digital connectivity. The seminar was organized in association with UNDP Nepaland Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) with the support of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). Ms. Rekha Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Government of Nepal was the Chief Guest at the event.The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) partnered with the Embassy and represented industry at the event.

2. Drawing from India's best practices and other global and regional experience with DPI, this seminar provided a detailed overview of use cases of DPI to more than 200 government officials, industry, startups, academia and other stakeholders from Nepal.

3. Addressing the opening plenary, Shri Naveen Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Nepal, highlighted the emphasis on DPI under India’s G20 Presidency and the G20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure, a voluntary and suggested framework for DPI. He explained how digital technology can help countries leapfrog development milestones.

4.Ms. Rekha Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Communication and Information Technology, underscored Nepal’s commitment to adopting digital technologies and advised officials of India and Nepal to cooperate in the field of technology.

5. The keynote address by Dr. Pramod Varma,Co-chair, Center for Digital Public Infrastructure and ex-Chief Architect, UIDAI,outlined the DPI approach to creating inclusive and sustainable economic development with examples from India such as Unified Payments Interface, Digi Yatra, DPIs for tax, Account Aggregators and Open Network for Digital Commerce.Mr. Benjamin Bertelsen,DPI Manager (acting), UNDP, Chief Digital Office,explainedthe concept of DPI through a presentation.

6. The first panel discussion was a confluence of ideas on the use cases of digital credentials and data storage, with Mr. Dipesh Bista, CEO, e-Governance Commission; Mr. Debabrata Nayak, CTO, Digital India Corporation and Dr. Pramod Varma, Co-chair, Center for Digital Public Infrastructure and ex-Chief Architect, UIDAI offering their perspectives. With a focus on concrete use cases, the discussion underscored the potential for robust, secure, and interoperable data sharing systems to interface between the public and government bodies. A special address by Mr. Shanker DasBairagi, National Security Advisor, Government of Nepal, highlighted the importance of digital connectivity between our two countries.

7. A subsequent panel moderated by Dr. BiswashGauchan, Executive Director, IIDS explored the current state and future of digital payment systems emphasizing on advancing digital connectivity. Mr. Neelesh Man Pradhan, CEO, Nepal Clearing House Ltd. (NCHL) and Mr. Anubhav Sharma, Head International Business – Partnership, Business Development & Marketing from NPCI International Pvt. Ltd (NPIL) highlighted the MOU between NPIL India and NCHL for facilitating cross-border digital payments. Mr. Saroj Nepal, National Program Coordinator, UNCDF, Nepalemphasized the potential of digital payments to catalyze economic growth. Mr. Sixit Bhatta, Founder, Tootle shared how DPI can accelerate and support startups.

8. The event concluded with a valedictory address by Mr. Bam Bahadur Mishra, Deputy Governor, Nepal Rastra Bank, who outlined NRB’s initiatives to promote digitalization and reaffirmed NRB’s support in taking forward digital payments infrastructure, including cross border connectivity, forward.

9. The Embassy will continue to cooperate with various stakeholders in Nepal to explore synergy and convergences to leverage DPI for the mutual benefit of the people of our two countries.

Press Release on Digital Public Infrastructure - Nepali

12 Dec 2023


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