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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (File Photo)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman marked the commencement of the Digital Acceleration and Transformation Expo (DATE) 2023, a pivotal event held at Yashobhoomi in Dwarka, Delhi.

The expo serves as a converging platform for India’s thought leaders, technology innovators, burgeoning startups, discerning investors, corporate decision-makers, and policymakers, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and insights.

Spanning from November 23 to 24, DATE encapsulates the latest trends, breakthroughs, and discussions at the forefront of India’s digital acceleration and transformation landscape.

In an announcement at the DATE 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted India’s achievement in developing a comprehensive digital infrastructure known as the “India Stack”.

This initiative, funded by public resources, integrates various digital elements, marking a significant leap in the nation’s digitization journey.

Sitharaman said, “In the recent G20 Digital Public Infrastructure that India has brought with public funds and which has bricks of so many different elements thus eventually be4ing projected as the India stack because it has something or the other the capsule of so many different layers if digitization of the country has been welcomed with the sense of ‘awe'”.

The Minister added, “People are really surprised that a country like India could not only utilise the talent which is available with public funds and be able to scale it up at the ground”.

Sitharaman emphasized the positive reception of the India Stack, describing it as a multi-layered capsule of digitization elements. She expressed pride in India’s ability to harness its talent pool and scale up the digital infrastructure at the grassroots level.

The Finance Minister revealed that India has already signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with 7 or 8 countries, intending to share its digital experience and technological advancements. More such collaborations are expected in the future.

Sitharaman stated, “Yesterday in the press conference, I announced that already with 7or 8 countries we have already signed MOUs to share our experience, our achievements, the technology that we have and be able to share it with those countries which have signed the MoU and we have many more of them coming. So opportunities are galore for Fintech and Fintech related and for everything driven through AI”.

The Finance Minister highlighted the vast opportunities emerging in the Fintech sector, especially those driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“When you look at usage, Fintech, the benefit going down to the common citizen, it it that each one should get easy access to credit , should be able to be a part of financial networking so that when there is a need of rating his credit score, he should be in the loop already, small, big, medium size whichever be and also be therefore accessing without much of an effort through his phone, all available sources of credit management , that is one of the biggest thing we are moving forward with by bringing in things like accounts aggregator, so that no one who’s attached to a particular bank be lost out if there are better terms available at different banks, simultaneously you could hold these two”, Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman added, “And similarly looking at Digital ways in which he can access global market. So if these have to be achieved, it’s not going to be possible without other benefits which are essentially financial related, which are credit- which is got to be available, seeking market, looking at digital ways of communicating with his transactions, payments, insurance, so there are so many different aspects of financial networking and benefiting from the services”.

She underscored the importance of Fintech in ensuring easy access to credit for every citizen. Sitharaman emphasized the goal of providing seamless financial networking, allowing individuals, regardless of their financial size, to access credit effortlessly through their smartphones.

To achieve this, the Finance Minister introduced initiatives like the Accounts Aggregator, ensuring that individuals tied to a specific bank can explore better credit terms available at different banks simultaneously.

Sitharaman also discussed facilitating digital access to the global market for Indian citizens.

The Finance Minister’s vision revolves around enabling citizens to have easy access to credit, participate in financial networks, and leverage digital means for transactions, payments, and insurance.

The comprehensive approach to financial networking and services reflects India’s commitment to fostering inclusive and tech-driven economic growth.

  • Published On Nov 24, 2023 at 08:22 AM IST

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