As part of India’s Presidency of the G20, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is hosting the first Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 13 February to 15 February 2023. The DEWG, originally called DETF was formed in 2017 as part of the German G20 presidency with the aim of promoting the implementation of a secure, interconnected, and inclusive digital economy. With the global digital economy estimated to be worth USD 11 trillion and expected to reach USD 23 trillion by 2025, the DEWG plays a critical role in shaping global policy discourse in the digital space.
In addition to the G20 members, India has invited Guest Countries (namely, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates),and International Organizations (such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), OECD, the World Bank, UNESCO, and the UNDP) to participate in the DEWG meetings.
As a precursor to the first DEWG meeting in Lucknow, MeitY has held several bilateral meetings and launched several initiatives that inter-alia includes the following:
- “Stay Safe Online” campaign: To raise awareness among citizens of all ages about cyber risks and how to protect oneself online.
- The G20 Digital Innovation Alliance (G20-DIA): To support and recognize innovative digital technologies developed by startups from G20 countries and beyond and to showcase cutting-edge digital solutions at the G20-DIA Summit in Bangalore. The summit will focus on six critical areas: Agri-tech, Health-tech, Ed-tech, Fin-tech, Secured Digital Infrastructure, and Circular Economy.
- “Digital Payment” campaign: Launched on 9th February 2023, the digital payment campaign is aimed at promoting digital payments across the country. The campaign will see special events organized in the cities of Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, as part of the G20’s DEWG meetings.
- Immersive Digital Mobile Van: Launched by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 2nd February 2023 the van will travel through 45 pre-identified destinations in the city of Lucknow and provide an interactive and immersive experience about India’s digital transformation journey, showcasing digital transformational initiatives in financial inclusion, universal healthcare, inclusive education & learning, among others.
The three day-long DEWG meeting will kick off tomorrow with a range of exciting workshops, discussions, and experiences, including side events on themes that complement the overall DEWG agenda. The four workshops will focus on (i) Digital Public Infrastructure – Sharing implementation experiences of Digital Identity in various countries, (ii) Sharing of Cyber Security Solutions for MSMEs, (iii) Digital Public Infrastructure to boost the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and (iv) Use of Geo-Spatial technologies for infrastructure and Product development in the digital economy. Alongside these workshops, Digital Initiatives of the State of Uttar Pradesh will also be showcased at the meeting venue. The side events of the DEWG will be streamed live at https://youtube.com/live/Ck6YC0_LmhY.