India attends G20 Digital Economy Ministerial

At the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting in Salta, Argentina, G20 representative issued a declaration related to promotion of policies and actions that catalyze digital transformations

August 24, 2018

The event was attended by 33 heads of delegation - ministers, officials and representatives from invited countries and global organizations such as the EU, UNCTAD, ITU, among others

India was represented by the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. The event comes as Indian Government has taken up the ‘Digital India’ initiative

G20 delegates discussed measures to empower governments, the private sector and civil society to maximize the benefits and confront the challenges posed by technological progress

India’s telecommunications base currently features 1.2 billion mobile phones, of over 500 million are smartphones, nearly 500 million internet subscribers, and steadily growing

India attended the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting in Salta, Argentina, over August 23-24. At the event, G20 representatives issued a declaration that reflected the bloc’s commitment towards promoting “policies and actions that catalyze digital transformations”. The event was attended by 33 heads of delegation – ministers, senior officials and representatives from invited countries and international organizations such as the EU, UNCTAD, ITU, among others. India was represented on the occasion by the Union Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. The event was special for Government of India which has taken up the ‘Digital India’ initiative to improve connectivity across the nation, in turn boosting the national economy.

At the event, building on the contributions of the G20 Digital Economy Task Force, delegates discussed measures to empower governments, the private sector and civil society to maximize the benefits and confront the challenges posed by technological progress. The other focus area of the meeting was digital inclusion, in particular gender divide. Related topics such as digital government, digital infrastructure and measuring the digital economy were also discussed at the meet. Addressing the plenary of the meeting, Mr Prasad said that India’s digital story is a story of opportunities and growth. Indian is committed to digital inclusion and empowerment of 1.3 billion people. India’s telecoms base currently features 1.2 billion mobile phones, of over 500 million are smartphones, nearly 500 million internet subscribers.

The Government is increasing broadband availability through a steadily expanding optical fibre network that has so far connected 250,000 village clusters. Minister Prasad said that the success of Digital India programme lay in the efforts to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion, on the back of technology that is is low cost, affordable, developmental and which fosters empowerment and inclusion. The Government has also sought to encourage development and deployment of India’s home grown technologies. India’s digital economy likely to become US$1 trillion economy in the next three to five  years. At the event, G20 countries agreed to promote digital government and infrastructure, strengthen digital skills of the workforce and pledged to work together to set up inclusive digital economies.