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Exploring the Immense Potential of Digital Public Infrastructure for Sri Lanka

High Commission of India
Colombo

PRESS RELEASE

Exploring the Immense Potential of
Digital Public Infrastructure for Sri Lanka

   High Commission of India, in partnership with Ministry of Technology, Government of Sri Lanka organised a conference on Digital Public Infrastructure today in Colombo. The conference, through its three sessions and breakout meetings explored the transformative potential of DPI for enabling service delivery, empowering communities by fostering inclusivity and enriching the economy by driving innovation.

2. The three sessions included an Opening Plenary with the keynote address delivered by President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Ranil Wickremesinghe, wherein he applauded the conference for being timely. President Wickremesinghe underlined DPI as a vital enabler for the digitisation of the Sri Lankan economy. He emphasised the need for collaboration with India in this domain, highlighting the potential of fast-tracking growth by adapting India’s successful strategies domestically. India’s digital transformation and the significance of DPI and India Stack was elaborated upon by H.E. Santosh Jha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka in his Welcome Remarks and by Dr. Pramod Varma, Co-Chair, Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure (CDPI) in his presentation during the Opening Plenary.

3. The other two sessions saw discussions amongst experts from India, Sri Lanka and the region, on the themes of Accelerating Digital Sri Lanka and Unlocking the Digital Stack respectively. The former focused on roadmap for adoption of DPI in Sri Lanka and the resultant acceleration towards e-governance across the board, with the opening remarks by Hon. Kanaka Herath, State Minister of Technology. The latter went beyond foundational DPI to discuss use cases marrying technology, markets and governance with a special focus on the positive externalities in the startups domain. This session was opened by Hon. MP Dr. Harsha de Silva.

4. The conference was particularly enriched with several breakout meetings between visiting experts from India and their Sri Lankan counterparts as well as other stakeholders. A key highlight of these was an interaction of the visiting senior officials from Government of India’s Ministries handling Digital India and Startup India programmes with Senior Officials who are leading the six Working Groups of Government of Sri Lanka on Digital Economy.

5. Futuristic linkages were also initiated in the startup and IT industries domain on the sidelines of the conference. In the afternoon of 26 March, Startup India’s team held a capacity building workshop for startups in Sri Lanka, including sessions by Indian experts on the art of pitching and effective marketing. The Chief of IIT Chennai’s Incubator ‘Parvartak’ interacted with key startup incubators in Sri Lanka. Chairman NASSCOM called on President of Sri Lanka today.

6. The conference is another step in the series of initiatives being undertaken to implement the Vision Document adopted by Prime Minister of India and President of Sri Lanka during the latter’s visit to India in July 2023 to promote connectivity, including in the digital domain. India’s ongoing grant assistance for establishing the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity (SL-UDI) Project is a key building block for the digital transformation of Sri Lanka aided by DPI. The various engagements today emphasised the immense potential to leverage India’s DPI in accordance with Sri Lanka’s requirements and priorities towards effective and efficient delivery of citizen-centric services to the people of Sri Lanka.

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Colombo

26 March 2024

https://www.youtube.com/live/D9w2HRY5dlo?si=LmHzlva9UDyyCFUD 

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