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Digitalizing Governance at Scale!

This government has been brilliantly strategic in digitalizing governance. Indian innovation in Governance, is Scale – look no further !

“Aadhaar as >foundational identity< AADHAAR, gives the ability to make a positive claim on the state. Jan-Dhan the >>social inclusion program<< a stroke of brilliance that got large swathes of the country into the ambit of banking – Digitized bank accounts allowing government to directly transfer cash to citizens, removing intermediaries. The >>Application Layer <<- UPI – end-use neutral, allowing all types of transactions to be paid for – using banks, payment banks and an entire ecosystem of intermediaries that ease the payment system has been created (notwithstanding banks not seizing the opportunity to extend their services)”

ONDC is the next big ambition – in a market society – the market is society, largely i.e. families / individuals / communities negotiate their lives through the market – providing goods and services. The recent pandemic showed that being yanked out of a digital interface to customers can shut out the livelihood of millions. While digitalization alone cannot solve supply chain disruptions of the scale of a pandemic – requiring a robust control of key aspects of raw materials and production facilities within the geography – it allows us to identify and respond to problems in-situ, in situations of an emergency.

The largest un-tapped opportunity however, is the complete overhauling of governance in the last mile to automate citizen-state interactions – Digitalizing close to 90% transactions and enforcing transparency in the last mile – both from the Government and Citizen.

With Digital wallets on mobile devices taking centerstage – the next wave of applications will directly enable individuals to transact across all forms of digitizable transactions – Housing loans / land registration/ subsidy applications etc.,. The Digital Trail can pinpoint areas of inefficiency and root out endemic street level rent seeking from the bureaucracy.

The bureaucracy needs tools for visibility /monitoring (dynamic /accurate population scale) to function effectively – we should not be discussing solutions in abstract anymore – the core is digitization, and it now requires an open framework to share data across platforms and domains smoothly – “Publicly available, Privately Purposed”.

For instance – Logistics automation – across a consortium of participants – the universe of Exporters with goods – Tax authorities – Banks – Ports and Freight. Every transaction involves the coordination and smooth sharing of data across boundaries that span multiple public registries and feed into private transactions.

Data mobility on a secure open Indian infrastructure, available for use globally, with government as custodian and individuals/ businesses owning respective identities, will spearhead the next wave of innovation.

Indian innovation in Governance, is Scale – look no further !