India says it is ready to share digital technologies with the Global South for free

Johannesburg: India is keen to share its expertise and experience in digital technologies with the Global South to help it realize a range of projects it has implemented for its people, India's envoy to South Africa said.

“The Indian economy is growing rapidly and is currently the fastest growing major economy in the world. “In the next five years, India will become the third largest economy in the world with a GDP of more than Rs 4,14,17,499.94 billion ($5 trillion),” India's High Commissioner to South Africa Prabhat Kumar said.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 'India-South Africa Connect: Global Vision Meets Digital Realities Seminar 2024', co-hosted by the Consulate General of India in Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Business School on its campus on Thursday.

“However, here I would like to point out and emphasize that India’s economic growth model is different. “India's philosophy is to share its expertise and experience with the countries of the global south,” he said, representing India's philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.

“We believe that the world is a family and we must share everything we have with the world. It was not a mere slogan for the G-20 summit,” he said, adding: “We have followed this philosophy in the past and will continue to follow it in the future.”

He cited examples of India's exemplary efforts during the Covid-19 crisis to help more than 150 countries with vaccines, medicines and medical equipment, “while some countries hoarded vaccines and chose to vaccinate their own populations first.”

“India and South Africa have jointly applied to the WTO for a waiver from the TRIPS Agreement to allow the vaccine to be manufactured and distributed in all countries,” the diplomat said.

Kumar cited a report by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) that said India's digital public infrastructure plans will enable the country to become a Rs 6,62,68,000 crore (US$ 8 trillion) economy by 2030 ) respectively.

He gave examples of what India has achieved through programs such as the unique ID program, digital banking, UPI, digital delivery of vaccines and direct transfers.

“The money will be seamlessly transferred digitally on the due date and a telephonic notification of the transfer will be made. “Digital technology has led to greater democracy and empowered the masses,” Kumar said.

The High Commissioner also cited examples of global organizations established with India's initiatives, including the International Solar Alliance, the Global Bio-Fuel Alliance or the Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure, “to address energy security and climate issues.”

(Published March 1, 2024, 4:45 p.m IS)