Global South must adopt digital public infra to achieve sustainable development goals, says Kant

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The Global South needs to adopt digital public infrastructure to technologically leapfrog and achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on Tuesday. Addressing an event organised by Carnegie India, Kant said now the world will grow on the back of digital public infrastructure.

He said if the the world has to grow equitably then the global south is important because 4 billion people still do not have digital identity, 1.3 billion people do not have a bank account, while 133 countries in the world do not have fast payments.

“And therefore you need the digital public infrastructure to enable these countries to technologically leapfrog and ensure that we are able to make sustainable development goals reached to them.

“And that is really the key, the SDGs must reach the global south,” Kant said.

The term ‘global south’ is used to refer poor and developing countries.

The former NITI Aayog CEO noted that during the COVID period, while the world was giving out large packages, which led to then inflation, India was able to put money straight into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries using digital public infrastructure.

“800 million people got money straight into the bank account without any leakages,” he added.

He said the government is working to link artificial intelligence (AI) to the digital public infrastructure.

“What it does is…anyone sitting in any part of India can use his local dialect to get information, fill up the form in his local language through the voice and get access to any government scheme,” Kant explained.

According to him, India’s digital public infrastructure is transforming lives of citizens.

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