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India Roundtable on Financial Inclusion

An India Roundtable on Financial Inclusion was organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations today at the UNHQ. The roundtable discussion was designed to bring to center stage the role of Financial Inclusion on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The discussions were also based on the Indian journey and experience, particularly in showcasing the ‘India Stack’, and the use of open, digital public infrastructure in transforming the lives of billions of individuals, and helping businesses promote financial and social inclusion.

The keynote speaker was Prof.Arvind Panagariya from Columbia University, former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog and India’s G20 Sherpa. He elaborated on the measures taken by India over the last decade on financial inclusion, and the scaling up of investment in national schemes with a whole-of-government, mission mode approach to ensure that no one is left behind. The Digital India initiative was one such important approach since 2014 that transformed India and paved the way for streamlining governance.

A rich panel discussion was then moderated by Associate Administrator of UNDP USG Usha Rao-Monari, and the panel included the Permanent Representative of Indonesia Ambassador Arrmanatha Nasir, SG’s tech envoy USG Mr.Amandeep Singh Gill, and Chair of Force for Good & CEO Greater Pacific Capital Mr.Ketan Patel. The discussion also laid emphasis on leveraging digital public infrastructure to amplify efforts, bridge gaps, and on scaling up the reach. Several member states and attendees made interventions and engaged actively in the discussion, including on how models currently deployed could be replicated, at affordable costs, particularly in developing countries.

This roundtable also brought focus on the efforts by India at the G20 on digital public goods and digital public infrastructure, and how they are critical to plug the SDG implementation gaps on the road to Agenda 2030. At the ‘Voice of Global South’ Summit organised by India from 12-13 January 2023, representatives of 125 countries from the Global South acknowledged and welcomed India’s offer to share best practices and experiences on digital public goods in areas such as financial inclusion and health.