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First Digital Economy Working Group meeting in Lucknow takes off

The 3-day long First Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency was inaugurated today, in Lucknow, by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister of Electronics & IT, Communications and Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw in the august presence of Union Minister for Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey and Union Minister of State for Electronics & IT, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Secretary, MeitY, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Durga Shankar Mishra and foreign delegates amongst others.

An Exhibition was also inaugurated showcasing virtual realities and artificial intelligence and innovative solutions such as ASK AI, ASK GITA, AI Chess, AI in daily lives, Digital India Journey, Lucknow VR Tour and various Initiatives of Central Government and State Government of Uttar Pradesh.

The Secretary, MeitY, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, delivered the welcome address, emphasizing the paramount importance of the DEWG in promoting cyber security, fostering digital competency and advancement, and facilitating the development of DPI in the digital economy.

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath spoke of the recent Global Investors Summit that took place from February 10th to 12th and the investment proposals worth over 33,50,000 Crore rupees that were received during the event. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics & IT, Communications and Railways addressed the audience and illuminated how IndiaStack can be deployed and utilized by any nation, displaying the potency of digital technology through public-private partnerships. Union Minister for Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, stated that numerous initiatives in the fields of robotics, drones, additive manufacturing, electronics, and control have been approved to encourage the adoption of industry 4.0. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics & IT, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship spoke of how technology can be utilized to alter the lives of citizens and the essence of governance and democracy.

The first session of the day was on ‘Digital Public Infrastructure: Sharing implementation experiences of Digital Identity in various countries.It had distinguished speakers such as Mr. Jonathan Marskell, Senior Program Officer, World Bank, Dr. Saurabh Garg CEO, UIDAI, Dr. Pramod Varma, CTO, EkStep Foundation, Mr. Ichwan M Nasution, Indonesia, Dr. Irina Alexandra Soeffky, Germany, Mr. Fabian Delcros, European Union. During the session, the World Bank shared that 850 million persons have no official ID and it is working in approximately 50 countries, to support the development of digital ID Systems, including financing of approximately 2Billion dollars. During the session, the importance of Aadhaar as the foundation for building other aspects of digital public infrastructure was highlighted. The discussion also touched upon the need for a strong legal framework to ensure data protection, security and privacy.

The second session on ‘Sharing of Cyber Security Solutions for MSMEs’, was participated by Mr. Vinayak Godse, CEO, DSCI, Mr. Frederic Sauvage, France, Mr. Craig Stanley-Adamson, United Kingdom, Ms. BasmahAljedai, Saudi Arabia, Ms. Camille de Burgh, Australia, Mr. Sandeep Aurora, Microsoft & Mr. Derek Pillar, MasterCard Inc.During the session, the Cyber Campus of France, UK National Cyber Strategy, Saudi Arabia’s vision of a centralized governance model for 2030 were discussed. The attendees also highlighted the need for capacity building and discussed the impact of cyber threats, current ecosystem trends, and the Global Cyber Alliance’s toolkit for small businesses.During the session, three startups – Prophaze, Payatu, and Wi-Jungle – spoke about the cyber security threats faced by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the solutions they offer. They shared their expertise and insights on the current cyber security landscape and the measures that MSMEs can take to protect themselves from potential threats.

The third session on ‘Digital Public Infrastructure to boost the attainment of SDGs’, was participated by Dr. Paulin Basinga, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, KeyzomNgodupMassally from UNDP, Mr. Joshua Bamford, UK, Ms. Melisa Tekeli, Turkiye, Mr. Viraj Tyagi, eGov Foundation, & Mr. CV Madhukar, Co- Develop.The delegates discussed the best practices for collaboration and sharing the outcomes of DPI initiatives. The emphasis was placed on the significance of technical interoperability as a priority for success and the benefits of an open resource stack to stimulate market growth and strengthen state capacities. The role of open source, open APIs, and interoperable digital solutions in constructing a strong digital infrastructure was also deliberated upon.

The fourth session on Showcasing Digital Initiatives of the State of Uttar Pradesh was participated by Dr. Subi Chaturvedi, InMobi, Mr. Akshay Tripathi, Mr. Devesh Chaturvedi, Dr. Roshan Jacob, Mr. Saurabh Babu and Mr. Vineet Kumar from the Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. Discussions were held on several initiatives such as Mega Data Centre coming up in Greater Noida, Nivesh Mitra – Single Window System for Investors, Mine Mitra for Mining Sector, DigiShaktiamong others. Mr. Arvind Kumar from the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Akshay from YourStory and Ms. Meenakshi, Infosys also discussed about the partnership role of government, Industry and academic and interactions with beneficiaries were held.

The last thematic session of the day was on ‘the Use of Geo-Spatial technologies for infrastructure and Product development in digital economy’. The speakers included Mr. Sushil Chandra, Head Computer Image Processing Division, Remote Sensing Applications Centre (RSAC), Govt. of UP, Dr. Vinay Thakur, Additional Director General, BISAG-N Govt. of India & Mr. Rohan Verma, CEO MapMyIndia. It was shared how GIS has been effectively used in gathering real-time traffic data from users on the ground, analyzing it, and then sharing daily and dynamic updates to offer a smooth and efficient service.

The concluding remarks were given by Sushil Pal, Joint Secretary, MeitY.

The first day of the Digital Economy Working Group meeting in Lucknow was a resounding success, with 36 esteemed speakers sharing their expertise and insights with over 700 registered attendees. The second day promises to be equally exciting, with keynote addresses from the Troika members, and thematic sessions on the crucial topics of Digital Public Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Digital Skilling in the Digital Economy, which are priority agendas for Digital Economy Working Group.

CT Bureau

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