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Open Digital Ecosystems can help create Rs 35 lakh crore in India by 2030: Report

As Indian enterprises speed up their digital transformation amid the pandemic, a new report today predicted that by 2030, 10 high potential national open digital ecosystems (NODEs) in sectors like health, agriculture and justice etc can create new economic value of more than Rs 35 lakh crore.

This will be nearly 5.5 per cent of the projected GDP in 2030, and also generate over Rs 15 lakh crore in savings, according to a joint report by investment firm Omidyar Network India and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

ODEs are defined as open and secure digital platforms that enable a community of actors to unlock transformative solutions for society, based on a robust governance framework.

"India has been a pioneer in the movement to build ‘digital highways.' We were one of the first developing countries to have a population scale Digital ID initiative, and have built digital payments infrastructure such as UPI," said Roopa Kudva, MD, Omidyar Network India.

Even during this pandemic, the government was able to transfer Rs 37,000 crore directly to the bank accounts of 16 crore citizens using India's digital infrastructure.

"At the same time, we must take care of critical issues like privacy and agency of individuals over their personal data," Kudva stressed.

The ODE approach suggests that the government should focus on creating the ‘digital commons' and enable interoperability between siloed systems, so that innovators can build on top, by leveraging open source software, data, standards, licenses and APIs (application programming interfaces).

"We need to raise the bar from systems-thinking to ecosystems-thinking. Digital ecosystems can evolve faster if we create the right environment, which includes open-standards based architecture, data policies, collaborative design, and innovation," said J Satyanarayana, Advisor, National Digital Health Mission and former chairperson, UIDAI.

According to Dr Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MEITY, ODEs are an important area of work for India with the potential to make governance and service delivery truly citizen-centric across sectors.

The report envisioned three layers – digital platforms, community and governance – to transform service delivery through ‘Responsible ODEs'.

"The ODE approach holds tremendous potential for India across sectors, including agriculture, logistics, smart cities, skilling and employment, and MSMEs," added Saibal Chakraborty, Managing Director and Partner, BCG..