Government plans unified portal for digital public goods

The electronics and information technology sector is likely to lead the development of the portal

May 10, 2024

Multiple central government departments and some states have developed their DPGs, leading to a fragmented user experience

Government departments may need to provide specific details about their DPI, including tasks performed, user demographics, technology used, and adherence to open protocols

The portal aims to support ease of business, particularly for multinational corporations

These corporations, heavily reliant on these digital infrastructure services, will find the unified portal a boon, fostering collaboration among developers and engineers

The government is considering the creation of a unified portal to consolidate all its digital public goods (DPGs), such as Aadhaar, Unified Payments Interface, and Open Network for Digital Commerce. This initiative aims to streamline access to various apps and services by centralising them in one accessible location. An official who spoke about the condition of anonymity mentioned that the electronics and information technology sector, known for its expertise in this field, is expected to lead the development of this portal. Their role would involve coordinating with ministries and their respective departments and agencies to compile comprehensive details about the digital public infrastructure (DPI) established by them.

The official highlighted that numerous central government departments and some states have developed their DPGs, each offering various services through various apps and platforms. However, navigating through these disparate systems, each with its own interface and user experience can be cumbersome for users. A centralised portal would alleviate this issue by consolidating all relevant information and providing clear steps to access these services.

Government departments must provide specific details regarding their DPI as part of the proposal. This comprehensive data collection process will include tasks performed, user demographics, underlying technology, adherence to open protocols, and additional service utilisation requirements. This meticulous approach aims to facilitate user access and support ease of business, particularly for multinational corporations relying on these DPIs.

The envisioned portal aims to serve as a comprehensive resource for developers and engineers by listing both existing DPGs and those in development. Approximately 60 DPGs have been fully or partially developed across various levels in the country. The portal seeks to distinguish itself from the concept of a “super app” proposed by the central government.

Estimates suggest that the global market size of DPGs is projected to reach a staggering $100 billion within the next five to six years. This presents a significant economic opportunity. According to EY, the cost per person for developing a DPG in countries with over 50 million inhabitants could be as low as 74 cents. These figures underscore the potential economic viability and the promising return on investment in digital public infrastructure.

Source: Economic Times

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