November 2023 Yojana | G20 2023 INDIA
Table of Contents
- November 2023 Yojana | G20 2023 INDIA
- G20 For the Planet, People, Peace and Prosperity
- Do You Know?
- INDIA’S RISING INFLUENCE G20 SUMMIT PUTS INDIA ON THE WORLD STAGE
- GREEN DEVELOPMENT PACT: ROADMAP TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
- DESIGNING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY WORLD
- DIGITAL PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE & PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
- BUILDING SAFETY, SECURITY, RESILIENCE, AND TRUST IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
- RESPONSIBLE USE OF AI BRIDGING INNOVATION AND ETHICS
- ENERGY TRANSITION IN INDIA
- REMEMBERING PROF MS SWAMINATHAN: The Father of the Indian Green Revolution
G20 For the Planet, People, Peace and Prosperity
- India’s G20 Presidency is a landmark, successfully championing both the climate and development agendas, and recognising that countries should not have to choose between poverty alleviation and environmental protection.
- Drawing from our own experiences in spearheading socioeconomic transformations, India’s developmental model has garnered global recognition.
- We achieved an extraordinary feat–a New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (NDLD) comprising 83 paragraphs, with no voice of dissent. This remarkable document signifies a momentous global consensus, underscoring the power of unity in addressing common challenges.
- It represents a fundamental shift in focus, from conflict and division to development and cooperation.
Strong, Sustainable, Balanced, and Inclusive Growth
- Recognising that economic growth underpins a country’s prosperity and developmental potential, the Declaration foregrounds the need for strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth, with a clear recognition of the pivotal role of private enterprises, notably Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups, in fostering innovation and employment opportunities.
- Additionally, it advocates for the promotion of trade and investment policies, along with the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), demonstrating leaders’ tangible commitments.
Accelerating Progress on the SDGs
- The latest UN SDG report reveals that only 12% of SDG targets are on track, while 30% have stagnated or regressed since 2015.
- The looming 1.5°c temperature increase, driven by alarming trends like the loss of 50 million hectares of forests from 2015 to 2020 and rising weather-related disasters, disproportionately impacts the developing world.
- India’s G20 presidency is a landmark, successfully championing both the climate and development
agendas, and recognising that countries should not have to choose between poverty alleviation and environmental protection.
- Under its leadership, an action plan for accelerating SDG progress has been delivered, taking a cross-cutting approach and emphasising the critical role of data in driving development.
- The endorsement of G20 Principles on harnessing Data for Development (D4D) reinforces this commitment.
- Additionally, the G20 Deccan High-Level Principles (HLPs) on Food Security and Nutrition 2023, along with the promotion of ancient grains like millets, hold the promise of ensuring global food and nutritional security—an essential aspect of sustainable development.
- India’s G20 presidency recognised the profound impact of climate change on health and established a global initiative on Digital Health to address evolving health challenges.
- The G20 2023 Action Plan to Accelerate Progress on the SDGs is a milestone achievement, promoting equitable, strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth while addressing challenges like access to finance and technology.
Green Development Pact, Climate Finance, and Mission Life
- India’s New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (NDLD) includes the ‘green Development Pact’– a comprehensive roadmap for the next decade to address the environmental crisis through global cooperation.
- In the energy transition, the g20 has agreed to High-Level Principles (HLPs) on hydrogen, critical
mineral collaboration, a global biofuels alliance, and efforts to triple renewable energy capacity, among other initiatives.
- The NDLD emphasises the role of healthy ecosystems in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, with a strong message on ending plastic pollution and promoting the circular economy.
Technological Transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure
- The profound influence of digital public infrastructure (DPI) in India is unmistakable. Whether it’s digital payments, co-Win, DigiLocker, or Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), technology has been instrumental in reaching the farthest corners, profoundly changing lives.
- Highlighting this impactful journey has played a pivotal role in establishing a consensus on the G20 Framework for Digital Public infrastructure, enabling nations worldwide to embrace, develop,
and scale similar DPI systems.
- Through the collaborative efforts of the one Future Alliance, we are extending support to Low and Middle-income countries (LMICs), providing both capacity-building and financial assistance to foster the growth of their DPI systems.
Gender Equality and Empowering All Women And Girls
- This declaration is multifaceted, encompassing various aspects of human-centric development and leaving no one behind.
- It champions women-led development, economic and social empowerment, gender-inclusive climate action, and women’s food security, marking it as the most ambitious communique for gender equality and women-led development.
The Voice of the Global South
- At the heart of India’s advocacy was a visionary proposal–the inclusion of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the g20. This proposal was grounded in a stark reality: the global south, and notably Africa, is poised to drive a staggering 80% of global economic growth, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Acknowledging the seismic shifts in global economic dynamics, India advocated for the AU’s permanent seat at the g20 table.
- A pivotal moment in India’s g20 presidency was the ‘voice of the global south summit.’ This landmark event, held earlier in the year, witnessed the gathering of 125 countries and the participation of 18 Heads of state from the global south.
- India’s entire g20 Presidency placed a strong emphasis on issues such as Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) reform, digital public infrastructure (DPI), and climate action, recognising that these are pivotal concerns for the developing world.
A People’s G20
- it’s not just at the international level that India has championed inclusivity. Through Jan Bhagidari events, citizens from across the nation actively engaged in g20-related events and activities.
- With over 220 meetings spanning 60 cities and more than 25,000 delegates participating, the G20 became accessible to people from various backgrounds.
- The engagement groups played a vital role in involving citizens in the G20 narrative and contributing expertise and perspective from civil society towards the final formulation of the NDLD.
- Groups like Labor20, science20, and Youth20 also saw substantial citizen participation, with innovative activities spanning diverse regions, including northeastern states and Jammu & Kashmir, and social media further amplified this reach, resulting in over 14 trillion impressions.
- In an increasingly divided world, India’s people-driven and human-centric G20 Presidency demonstrated the power of collective action. The Prime Minister referred to it as a ‘people’s presidency,’ embodying the spirit of the world’s largest democracy in shaping a more equitable global future.
Do You Know?
Bhashini App: Bridging The Digital Divide With Language Diversity
INDIA’S RISING INFLUENCE G20 SUMMIT PUTS INDIA ON THE WORLD STAGE
- India’s G20 presidency has indeed marked a diplomatic turning point and a monumental success that reverberates across the World stage.
- As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India has risen as a potent force, and its unwavering commitment to advocating for the concerns of the global south has earned it the title of a Vishwamitra, a universal friend and mediator.
- India's G20 Presidency stands as a monumental achievement in the annals of global diplomacy.
- At its core, this success is attributed to the transformative vision of the Prime Minister of India to decentralise and democratise the G20 process.
- This approach not only left an indelible mark but will also become the enduring legacy of India's G20.
- Moreover, the adoption of the catalytic and comprehensive New Delhi Leaders' Declaration further underscores India's diplomatic prowess. India's G20 Presidency has thus cemented its place at the international high table and raised its stature as a global champion of peace.
- To effectively achieve this, over 200 G20 meetings were held across the length and breadth of India, in every single state and union territory. This way, G20 delegates could get a first-hand experience of what each diverse part of India has to offer.
- Through this expansive pan-India approach, each state had the opportunity to leave an indelible cultural imprint on the minds of visiting delegates, who would return to their home nations as cultural ambassadors for India's rich and unique cultural heritage.
- It was a profound exchange that transcended diplomatic formalities and fostered genuine connections among nations.
- This transformative approach not only welcomed the world to India but also allowed India to project its best practices on the global stage.
- The smooth symphony of cooperative federalism required to host over 200 international meetings in 60 cities showcased India's organisational prowess and collaborative spirit to the world.
- This gathering of nations transcended the ordinary, evolving into an unforgettable presidency that left an indelible mark on both India and the world.
- Rooted in our cultural ethos, this transformative philosophy of 'One Earth One Family One Future' united the G20. As the 'Mother of Democracy, India successfully exemplified how collaborative action catalyses global change while also fostering 'healing, harmony, and hope for all.
- An impressive 112 outcomes and presidency documents were produced under India's leadership, more than doubling the substantive work of previous presidencies.
- The 83-paragraph declaration symbolises a concerted effort to address global challenges while embodying a spirit of collaboration, cooperation, and shared responsibility. It is a historic and path- breaking declaration that has heralded a golden age of human-centric globalisation.
- India led the creation of a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository, a 'virtual stack' where non-G20 and G20 countries alike can voluntarily share their open-source mechanisms to drive a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
- Its proposal to create 'One Future Alliance' was also welcomed, which is a voluntary initiative aimed at building capacity and providing technical assistance and adequate funding support for Implementing digital public infrastructure in low and middle- income countries.
- Sustainable and Inclusive growth was prioritised in the declaration with the G20 committing to strengthen global value chains, aid developing countries, and encourage sustainable investment, alongside addressing skill gaps and promoting decent work.
- They recognised the lagging progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and adopted an action plan to expedite the 2030 Agenda, including the High- Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development, which is based on the Government's 'Mission LIFE!
- Furthermore, the G20 committed to enhancing global food security and nutrition by welcoming India's proposal for the G20 Millets and other Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI), which focuses on climate- resilient grains.
- Furthermore, India's strong leadership In climate action secured a resolute commitment from developed countries within the G20, assuring that they will uphold their promise to provide $100 billion annually from 2020 to 2025, starting in 2023.
- Among India's priorities was also to reform multilateral Institutions, and an incredible achievement in this regard was the G20 committing to reform Multilateral Development Banks and address global debt issues.
- New initiatives, such as Startup 20, Disaster Relief Reduction Group, and meetings on Cyber Security, also reflected India's proactive approach during its G20 Presidency.
- India has not merely navigated but steered the changing tides of the global order as the leader of the G20. It has demonstrated its mettle in dealing with complex international issues while leading the way in shaping the future.
- As India passes the torch, it leaves behind a formidable legacy of leadership that will continue to exert a profound influence on the G20 and the world, shaping a brighter and more harmonious path forward for generations to come.
- In this transformative journey, India's rise as a global leader is not just a matter of prestige but a testament to its unwavering commitment to forging a better world for all.
GREEN DEVELOPMENT PACT: ROADMAP TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
- The Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future has successfully concretised actions that address the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable development.
- It comprises all the issues that are crucial for the world. India has successfully led the formulation of a strategy that mainstreams the concerns of the Global South.
- The basic principle of sustainable development is to strike balance amongst the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of developmental pathways in such a manner that present and emergent needs are addressed while safeguarding the Interests of future generations.
- The various manifestations of climate change underscore the need for countries to revisit their policies and actions and ensure that sustainability is mainstreamed in every sector.
- India is leading by example, with a development trajectory that takes into account both the economy and ecology.
- As India took up the G20 Presidency in December last year, climate and environmental sustainability were identified as core topics.
- The G20 also stressed the urgency of enhancing cross- sectoral adaptation and building resilience to safeguard livelihoods and protect developmental achievements, especially in developing nations.
- The G20 leaders adopted the Green Development Pact through the New Delhi Leaders' Declaration, which demonstrated their collective commitment towards addressing crucial matters such as the protection and conservation of forests and ecosystems, agreement on global land restoration targets, and action against marine plastic litter, along with recognising the power of collaboration in environmental action.
- Partnerships are key to sustainable progress, and the Global Biofuel Alliance is a shining example of the spirit of constructive collaboration that characterised India's G20 Presidency.
- The Prime Minister's articulation of Mission LIFE – Lifestyle for Environment, found huge resonance in all G20 countries.
- The need to promote mindful utilisation of resources instead of mindless consumption was well accepted, as is evident from the adoption of high-level principles for sustainable lifestyles.
- In order to decouple growth from environmental degradation and enhance sustainable consumption and production, including primary resource consumption, the G20 focused on the critical role played by the circular economy, extended producer responsibility, and resource efficiency in achieving sustainable development.
- To 'walk the talk, the Indian Presidency launched the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC), and this initiative was also acknowledged by the G20 leaders.
- The Green Development Pact has placed major emphasis on ecosystem restoration. The commitment to restoring by 2030 at least 30% of all degraded ecosystems and scaling up efforts to achieve land degradation neutrality speaks volumes about the seriousness with which the G20 accords to the challenge of environmental degradation.
- Commitment towards prevention and mitigation of forest fires and remediation of mining-degraded lands was a key element of the Declaration.
- All members supported the G20 ambition to reduce land degradation by 50% by 2040 on a voluntary basis and noted the Gandhinagar Implementation Roadmap and Gandhinagar Information Platform in this context.
- The other priority was the protection of ocean-based ecosystems and the recognition of the blue economy as a high-potential area.
- The Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future has successfully concretised actions that address the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable development.
- The Pact delves deep into the elements of macroeconomic risks and climate finance with the launch of the G20 Report on Macroeconomic Risks Stemming from Climate Change and Transition Pathways. Finance for both achieving NDCs and implementing adaptation action is crucial, and G20 recognition in this regard is a significant achievement.
- The Green Development Pact comprises all the issues that are crucial for the world. India has successfully led the formulation of a strategy that mainstreams the concerns of the Global South.
- The implementation of the Green Development Pact will further strengthen the G20 member states' efforts towards achieving SDG targets.
- By emphasising the need for all nations to build synergy in core areas, the G20 Leaders' Declaration under India's Presidency has offered a strong direction and nudge, and most importantly, a clear roadmap for a resilient future.
DESIGNING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY WORLD
- The High-Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development, adopted by the G20 during India's Presidency, reflect the need for commitments to promote sustainable consumption and production.
- The time is now for collective actions to reduce the global material footprint while meeting basic needs for all.
- In doing so, it is imperative to create enabling conditions to spark the shift to circular and green economic growth, while catering to different developmental needs and national circumstances.
Need of Circular Economy
- The world's population may be near 10 billion by 2050. This would mean greater demand for food, fashion, travel, housing, and other related products and services.
- To support population needs, the annual global extraction of materials has already grown from 22 billion tonnes (1970) to 70 billion tonnes (2010), and is expected to roughly double by 2060.
- In less than eight months this year, humanity's demand for ecological resources and services exceeded what Earth can regenerate in 2023, and our rate of consumption continues to grow.
- This is increasing pressure on the planet's finite natural resources, creating resource Insecurity, and bringing biodiversity loss, pollution, growing emissions, and climate change.
- There is an urgent need to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production and to keep materials in circulation.
- 'Circularity' is a concept where materials are used for as long as possible at the highest possible value.
- Circularity covers the entire lifecycle of products and materials, from designing products to be long-lasting and repairable to ensuring that materials can be recovered through recycling and thus maintained in the economy at the end of a product's lifecycle.
- The main goal of circularity is to reduce the harmful environmental and socio-economic Impacts of unsustainable consumption and production, which result in reducing consumption-induced environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.
- The goals of circularity also include avoiding and minimising waste generation. A circular economy provides opportunities for societies by creating green jobs and circular business opportunities.
Our lifestyle choices and circularity
- Our lifestyle choices can influence the transition to circular economic growth.
- Evidence indicates that two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions are directly associated with households and lifestyles.
- Four areas essential to achieving sustainable and low-carbon lifestyles are mobility, housing and energy use, dietary choices, food, and new business models.
- In these areas, there is space for individual-level impact on sustainability.
- Under new business models, the fashion industry is in need of a rethink.
- According to a report by UNEP, over the past 15 years, fashion consumption has more than doubled, while the number of times a garment is worn before being discarded has decreased by 36%.
- Every second, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes, which amounts to an estimated value of $460 billion, is thrown away around the world.
- In light of current consumption trends and estimates, the fashion industry is not yet on the road towards circularity.
- Action is needed across the textile value chain to increase the sustainability of the current fashion industry.
Enhanced focus of G20 nations on Circularity, Sustainable Consumption and Production
- The High-Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development, adopted by the G20 during India's presidency, reflect the need for commitments to promote sustainable consumption and production.
- Along with the G20 Environment and Climate Ministers Meeting outcome document, the High-Level Principles acknowledge the critical role played by the circular economy and resource efficiency in achieving sustainable development.
India's proactive measures have potential for transitioning to circular economic growth
- The Government of India is putting special emphasis on the importance of the circular economy, resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production.
- India's transition to manufacturing-led growth provides a notable opportunity for Integrating circular economy approaches in manufacturing sectors.
- As per the latest reports, the transition to circular economic growth can generate a net economic benefit of approximately an annual value of USD 624 billion in India by 2050, relative to the business-as-usual scenario.
- Transitioning to a circular economy can enhance global employment and green jobs: 'As per ILO estimates, global employment could grow by six million jobs by transitioning to a circular economy.
- Some of the initiatives undertaken by India towards the efficient use of resources and circular economic growth include the Draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (2019), the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy, the Vehicle Scrapping Policy, and recently developed sectoral action plans on circular economy.
- India is also a member of the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE), a coalition of governments willing to work together and advocate for a global, just circular economy transition and more sustainable management of natural resources.
- GACERE is supported by UNEP and UNIDO and was launched in February 2021, on the margins of the first segment of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.1).
- India launched the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition, during the 4th G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) and Environment and Climate Ministers meeting in Chennai, on 27 July 2023.
- The coalition seeks to enhance collaboration among businesses, facilitate experience sharing, capacity building across sectors and value chains, and enhance actions for the circular economy transition.
- Mission LIFE, launched by India in October 2022, is a global movement based on three principles which promotes circular economy.
- Sustainable tourism can also play a significant role in accelerating the transition to low-carbon and circular business solutions, creating new opportunities in energy generation, reducing transport emissions, and integrating nature- based solutions into tourism activities and operations.
- 'Travel for Life' a programme aligned with Mission LIFE, aims to bring large-scale behavioural change amongst tourists and tourism businesses, significantly impacting environmental protection and climate action.
- The Life Cycle Initiative, Global Opportunities for Sustainable Development Goals (GO4SDGs), the International Resource Panel (IRP), 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and the Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT) are some of the tools, platforms, and frameworks offered by UNEP to support accelerating global action for circularity and sustainable consumption and production.
- UNEP, along with partner organisations, works to provide the latest science-based evidence on lifestyles. UNEP's report on '1.5 degree lifestyles: towards a fair consumption space for all, published in 2021, examined the lifestyle carbon footprint in ten of the G20 countries, offering policy recommendations on how to reduce those footprints.
- Circular economy is need of the hour and India as a President of G20 promoted this through various actions and initiatives.
DIGITAL PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE & PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
- India's commitment to Digital Public Infrastructure initiatives, exemplified by JAM Trinity, has not only accelerated financial inclusion but also set a benchmark for impartial digital transformation. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and other digital endeavours showcase India's leadership in embracing technology to bridge digital divides and promote innovation.
- Ina world marked by growing digitalisation, the demand for a strong Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) has become vitally important, serving as an essential catalyst for enhancing resilience, facilitating service provision, and fostering Innovation.
- The Importance lles in cultivating this fundamental framework that caters to diverse sectors, ensuring that humans ranging from urban Innovators to rural craftspersons can engage with conviction and credibility, enabling them to flourish within the digital economy on an equitable basis.
- The G20 Leaders' Declaration under India's Presidency on Technological Transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure underlines the central role that technology plays in bridging digital divides and cultivating inclusive and sustainable development.
DPI in India
- India plans to build and maintain a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR), a digital storage of DPI.
- In India, the adoption of Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs) like Aadhaar, alongside Jan Dhan bank accounts and Mobile phones, is recognised to have played a pivotal role in shifting ownership of transaction accounts.
- The JAM Trinity has accelerated the rate of financial Inclusion, increasing it from 25% in 2008 to more than 80% within the past six years.
- It is estimated that achieving this level of financial inclusion could have taken up to 47 years without the implementation of DPIs.
- The G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration emphasises the importance of safe, secure, and inclusive DPI, which resonates with India's successful implementation of Aadhaar and the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile phones) to accelerate financial inclusion.
- India has established one of the world’s largest digital government-to-Person (G2P) architectures by utilising DPI.
- The UPI-Pay Now linking India with 11 countries (France, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the USA, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the United Kingdom³) is in line with the G20's focus on financial Inclusion.
- India Stack & Account Aggregator (AA) System:
- India Stack, the fundamental DPI of India, has been effectively utilized to encourage Innovation, promote healthy competition, expand market reach, address financial inclusion disparities, bolster government revenue collection, and enhance the efficiency of public expenditure.”
- It has modernised and streamlined the Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.
- As of the current date, there have been a total of 16.47 billion eKYC transactions conducted, facilitated by 232 eKYC Authentication Agencies (KUA).
- India's Account Aggregator (AA) system lets people have control over their own financial Information. No data can be shared without the Individual's consent.
- Digital India Initiative & BharatNet Project: The Digital India initiative, launched in 2015, allgns with the G20's commitment to bridging the digital divide. It focuses on providing digital infrastructure and promoting digital literacy, both essential elements highlighted in the G20 declaration.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): PMJDY has significantly contributed to financial inclusion and digital adoption, key priorities in the G20's emphasis on public participation.
- Make in India: The Make in India initiative has bolstered India's self-reliance in technology, reducing dependency on Imports. This aligns with the G20's focus on innovation, technology transfer, and fostering a secure digital environment.
- Startup India: Startup India has nurtured entrepreneurship and Innovation, which is in line with the G20's commitment to promoting responsible and Inclusive use of digital technology.
- Smart Cities Mission: While primarily an
urban development initiative, the Smart Cities Mission integrates digital infrastructure components, aligning with the G20's emphasis on building DPI.
- Aadhaar: The Aadhaar project plays a crucial role in enabling digital services and identity verification, aligning with the G20's emphasis on data protection, privacy, and secure digital Infrastructure.
- UMANG & DigiLocker: The UMANG app aligns with the G20 Leaders Declaration 2023 by serving as a digital public infrastructure that provides secure and Inclusive access to a wide range of government services.
- Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): The launch of e-R by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is closely aligned with the G20 Leaders Declaration 2023 regarding CBDCs. The G20 leaders'declaration emphasised the importance of exploring the macro-financial implications of CBDCS, especially from the perspective of cross-border payments and their influence on the international monetary system.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeltY) has undertaken various schemes and programs to accelerate the implementation and development of Al In India. These Initiatives align with the G20 Leaders' Declaration 2023, which emphasises the responsible and inclusive use of Al for the public good.
- The G20 Leaders' Declaration underscores the pivotal role of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in driving inclusive and sustainable development in an increasingly digital world. India's persistent commitment to DPI initiatives, exemplified by Aadhaar and the JAM Trinity, has not only accelerated financial inclusion but also set a benchmark for impartial digital transformation. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and other digital endeavours showcase India's leadership in embracing technology to bridge digital divides and promote innovation.
BUILDING SAFETY, SECURITY, RESILIENCE, AND TRUST IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
- India's G20 Presidency has set the agenda for Digital Transformation – DPI, Cyber Security & Digital Skilling. This approach to digital transformation will truly help realise the goal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future – digitally bringing the world together.
- The digital economy is one of the most important agenda Items for the G20.
- As per the World Bank, the digital economy contributes to more than 15% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and in the last ten years, It has been growing two and a half times faster than the physical world GDP.
Digital Economy Working Group
- The Digital Economy Working Group had extensive discussions on the three key pillars: Digital Public Infrastructure, Security in the Digital Economy, and Digital Skilling.
- The Digital Economy Outcome Document outlines the details of the consensus that emerged on the key issues.
Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)
- One key achievement of the G20 was to come up with a definition of DPIs: Digital Public Infrastructure is described as a set of shared digital systems that should be secure and interoperable, can be built on open standards and specifications to deliver and provide equitable access to public and/or private services at a societal scale, and are governed by applicable legal frameworks and enabling rules to drive development, inclusion, innovation, trust, and competition and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- DPI was seen as a promising approach to digital transformation by providing a shared technology infrastructure that can be built and leveraged by both the public and private sectors.
- It was also agreed upon that governance frameworks and institutional capabilities play a very important role in ensuring that DPI is safe, secure, trusted, accountable, and inclusive and can contribute immensely to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- One of the most Important outcomes of the G20 was the agreement reached about the G20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure that can lay the roadmap for the development and deployment of DPIs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).
Security In the Digital Economy
- Building safety, security, resilience and trust in the digital economy has emerged as one of the key priorities of all G20 members that can ensure an enabling, inclusive, open, fair, non-discriminatory, and secure digital economy.
- This is essential for continuing the momentum in the growth of the digital economy while ensuring that the key principles of promoting safety, trust, reliability, resilience, and protecting privacy and data remain a top priority and key focus area.
- In today's interconnected world, there are digital dependencies across sectors and borders that can create security risks associated with the digital economy that a single entity may not be capable of addressing alone.
- The digital economy has multiple layers, and, therefore, there is a risk that breaches or incidents at any layer may disrupt the functioning of the whole ecosystem.
- Due to the borderless nature of the digital environment, the global community needs to work together towards building a safe, secure, and resilient digital economy. Preventing and mitigating security threats to the digital economy requires augmenting the capacity of all key stakeholders to understand, anticipate, prepare for, and respond to these threats.
- The G20 High-Level Principles to Support Businesses in Building safety, security, resilience, and trust in the Digital Economy can be summarised as under:
- Security and Trust: A human-centric culture of security and trust in the digital economy that enables citizens and businesses to understand risk management.
- Capacity Building: Capacity building is an important aspect of advancing security across the multi-layered structure of the digital economy.
- Research and Development: Advancing research and development enables building resilience .
- Multistakeholder Cooperation: Partnering with businesses, civil society organisations, academia, international organisations and the technical community is key to promoting security in the digital economy .
- Strengthening Resilience of Essential Services: Prevention of damage or disruption to certain essential social and economic services in the digital economy is important.
- Support for MSMEs in the Security Ecosystem: MSMEs have a very important role to play in the digital economy.
Potential Risks Associated with the Digital Economy
- Another key aspect of the potential risks associated with the digital economy relates to the impact they have on vulnerable sections of society, in particular children and youth.
- On one hand, increased access to digital tools and services opens up new avenues for children and youth to explore their creativity, enhance their learning experience, and work collaboratively.
- At the same time, it also increases exposure to risks to which children are especially vulnerable, such as cyber bullying and grooming, child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as risks related to their data and privacy.
- Women and girls are disproportionately affected by technology-facilitated gender-based violence.
- Cyber education and cyber awareness for the protection and empowerment of children and youth in today's digital age is a key priority area and requires concerted action by all stakeholders.
- The G20 Toolkit on Cyber Education and Cyber Awareness of Children and Youth, developed under the Indian presidency, will serve as a guide for all countries.
- It recognises the important role of the UN Convention on Rights of the Child and the need to develop holistic, human- centric approaches to address online safety across different jurisdictions that promote respect for and acilitate governments' efforts to protect children's privacy and personal data, uphold children's dignity, and respect their rights.
- This coordinated approach to ensuring the safety of women, children, and youth will go a long way in building safety, trust, and resilience in the digital economy.
- This approach adopted by the G20 member countries under India's Presidency lays down the roadmap for our common digital future, a strategy that not only lays emphasis on the adoption of Digital Public Infrastructure for enabling better access to public services for all, empowering people, and enabling a robust digital economy but it also addresses the key issues and challenges relating to safety, security, and trust.
- This approach to digital transformation will truly help realise the goal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam One Earth, One Family, One Future – digitally bringing the world together.
RESPONSIBLE USE OF AI BRIDGING INNOVATION AND ETHICS
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the way humans Interact, industries function, and societies are structured.
- The seemingly limitless potential of Al across multiple domains, countries, and human imaginations has spawned numerous applications.
- Current applications include image and text analysis for data analysis purposes, logistics, assistance in decision-making, autonomous vehicles, and aerial systems, cybersecurity, etc.
- Additionally, it is being used for security, surveillance, and inventory management. It is also being applied extensively to areas like agriculture, fintech, healthcare, manufacturing, and climate change, yielding sizeable dividends in all of them.
- It has become abundantly clear in the recent past that Al can augment human capabilities and aid us in tackling some of the most pressing challenges of our time.
- The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration highlights the significance of harnessing 'Al responsibly for good and for all. It states that the G20 leaders are committed to leveraging Al for the public good by solving challenges in a responsible, inclusive, and human-centric manner while protecting people's rights and safety. Groupings like these are in an opportune position to take the lead in this regard, thereby bridging the gap between innovation and the ethics of the use of AI.
G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration and Responsible Al
- The recently concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi (9-10 September 2023) has tackled multiple aspects related to Responsible AI (RAI).
- The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration highlights the significance of harnessing 'Al responsibly for good and for all.
- It states that the G20 leaders are committed to leveraging Al for the public good by solving challenges in a responsible, Inclusive, and human-centric manner, while protecting people's rights and safety.
- It adds that to ensure responsible Al development, deployment and use, the protection of human rights, transparency and explainability, fairness, accountability, regulation, safety, appropriate human oversight, ethics, blases, privacy, and data protection must be addressed.
- The declaration also reaffirms the leaders' commitment to G20 Al Principles of 2019. These principles had been adopted at the 2019 Osaka Summit and underline the human- centred approach of Al.
- They take a cue from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development principles on Al, also adopted in 2019, that support the technology to become Innovative and trustworthy, and respect human rights and democratic values.
- Besides this, the declaration also underlines the importance of Investment in supporting human capital development.
- Towards this, G20 leaders agreed to extend support to educational institutions and teachers to enable them to keep pace with emerging trends and technological advances including Al.
Ethical Risks Posed by AI
- According to the AIAAIC (AI, Algorithmic, and Automation Incidents and Controversies) database, which tracks incidents related to the ethical misuse of Al, the number of Al incidents and controversies has increased 26 times since 2012.
- Ethical Risks Posed by AI includes:
- Discriminatory outcomes due to inserted bias
- Cyber attacks using Al
- Copyright and Privacy violation
- Deep fakes
- Targeting and Surveillance
- Responsible AI is an approach to developing and deploying AI systems in a way that is safe, trustworthy, and ethical. This means ensuring that AI systems are designed, developed, and used in a way that minimizes risk of harm and maximizes potential benefits for individuals and society as a whole.
- There are six key principles of responsible AI:
- Fairness: AI systems should be fair and unbiased, and should not discriminate against any individual or group.
- Reliability and Safety: AI systems should be reliable and safe, and should not be used in applications where they could cause harm.
- Privacy and Security: AI systems should protect user privacy and security, and should not be used to collect or store personal data without consent.
- Inclusiveness: AI systems should be developed and used in a way that is inclusive of all people, regardless of their background or abilities.
- Transparency: AI systems should be transparent in their decision-making processes, and users should be able to understand how decisions are made.
- Accountability: Those who develop and deploy AI systems should be accountable for their actions, and should be held responsible for any harm that is caused by their systems.
- There are a number of different ways to ensure that AI systems are developed and used responsibly. These include:
- Developing clear guidelines and policies for the development and use of AI.
- Using diverse and representative data sets to train AI systems.
- Auditing AI systems to identify and address bias.
- Providing users with control over how their data is used.
- Developing mechanisms for redress if individuals are harmed by AI systems.
- India’s Effort in Responsible AI:
- The NITI Aayog released a two-part report in 2021 outlining approaches and operationalising principles for Responsible AI (RAI) in the deployment and use of civilian AI architecture.
- NITI Aayog has identified seven broad principles for responsible AI management:
- Protection and reinforcement of positive human values
- Privacy and security
- Safety and Reliability
- Inclusivity & Non-discrimin ation
- Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI):
- It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together experts from science, industry, civil society, international organisations, and governments to foster knowledge exchange, identify key issues among AI practitioners, and promote responsible development and use of AI.
- India currently holds the chairmanship of GPAI and has advocated for a unified framework of rules and guidelines on data governance to safeguard users from harm and ensure the safety of both the internet and AI technologies.
- Though the rise of Al and its applications in the past few years has been meteoric and the scope for innovation in the field is endless, nations all around the world are waking up to the dangers of its potential misuse.
- While there are several initiatives attempting to address the issue, there is currently no global consensus or regulatory framework on the ethical and responsible use of Al. Hence, groupings like the G20 and GPAI are in an opportune position to take the lead in this regard, thereby bridging the gap between innovation and the ethics of Al use.
- The G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration demonstrates that leaders of the world's largest economies are aware of the potential benefits and risks of Al and are committed to working together to ensure that the technology is developed and used in a responsible and inclusive manner.
ENERGY TRANSITION IN INDIA
- India's journey from conventional to renewable sources of electricity generation marks a monumental step towards a sustainable energy future.
- The Government's unwavering commitment to ambitious renewable energy targets, coupled with innovative policies and incentives, has set the stage for a greener energy landscape.
The Need for Energy Transition
- For decades, the energy sector has relied primarily on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity and fuel its economic growth. However, this reliance has come at a significant cost, both environmentally and socially.
- As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, India has committed to reducing its carbon emissions and playing its part in combating climate change.
- Recognising the environmental hazards posed by fossil fuels and the need for energy security, India has embarked on an ambitious journey to transition from conventional energy sources to renewable ones.
- The Government of India has displayed a strong commitment to advancing the adoption of renewable energy through comprehensive policies and initiatives.
- The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), introduced in 2008, laid the groundwork for the country's sustainable development goals.
- Under the NAPCC, several national missions were launched, each focusing on a specific sector that contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Today, India has the 4th highest installed RE capacity globally. India also ranks 4th in terms of global wind and bioenergy installed capacity, while it ranks 5th in solar installed capacity, closely following Germany. During the last five years (2017- 22), a RE capacity of 63 GW has been added, which is the 3rd highest globally during that period.
- To achieve the ambitious target of 500 GW of capacity from non-fossil sources, it is also imperative to ensure the evacuation of generation of generated power by building adequate distribution and transmission infrastructure. Under Phase 1 of the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) scheme launched by the Government, 8857 ckm transmission lines and 20868 MVA substations capacity have been completed.
- Phase 2 of the scheme has been launched for 7 States with a target of 10,750 ckm transmission lines and 27500 MVA substations capacity by 2026.
- The Government also extended the benefit of Inter State Transmission System (ISTS) charges waiver till June 2025 for all renewable energy projects; for Green Hydrogen Projects waiver has been extended till December 2030; and for offshore wind projects, it has been extended till December 2032.
- A number of important schemes and targets have been announced for the promotion of solar energy: Solar Parks Scheme with a target of 40 GW; Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme with a target of 30.8 GW; Rooftop Solar (RTS) Phase-2 Scheme with a target of 4 GW; and CPSU Scheme (Ph-1 & 2) with a target of 8.2 GW.
- The Government has also launched the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) in January 2023 with a target of 5 MMTPA production capacity by 2030.
- Till date, 49 green hydrogen production and 19 electrolyser manufacturing projects have been announced so far. It has also announced schemes to incentivise green hydrogen production and electrolyser manufacturing.
- To improve skilling in the sector, over 32,000 persons have been trained under Suryamitra programme. Vayumitra for wind power projects and Jal-Urjamitra for small hydro plants have also been launched and training programmes are underway.
Challenges and the Path Ahead
- One of the primary concerns is the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Balancing electricity supply and demand becomes complex due to fluctuations in generation.
- The integration of renewable energy into the existing grid infrastructure requires significant investments and upgrades.
- The development of a robust transmission network capable of handling intermittent and decentralised energy sources is crucial to maintaining grid stability and reliability.
- Following challenges have been witnessed in the implementation of RE schemes and programmes:
- Land: The availability of land for RE projects has been one of the major challenges. The preparation of State Renewable Energy Plans, considering the land available, can address this issue.
- Regulatory Issues: To achieve the RE installation targets, earnest action is needed from the State Governments on the following aspects:
- Compliance of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO)
- Timely adoption of tariff by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs)
- Avoiding levy of additional charges by the States
- Transmission infrastructure: Realistic transmission and RE project planning coupled with regular monitoring and remedial actions are needed to achieve the targets.
Economic and Environmental Implications
- The growth of the renewable energy sector would stimulate job creation, spur technological innovation, and attract foreign investment, as also described in the previous sections.
- A decrease in fossil fuel imports would enhance energy security and reduce the vulnerability of the economy to global energy market fluctuations.
- The shift away from fossil fuels significantly reduces carbon emissions, mitigates air pollution, and safeguards public health.
- During COP26 in Glasgow, the Prime Minister of India, announced five nectar elements, the Panchamrit, to deal with this challenge of climate change.
- These elements of Panchamrit will help the country to make its contribution in dealing with the climate change emergency
- India's transition to renewable energy sources is not just an energy transformation but a commitment to securing a cleaner, more sustainable, and prosperous future for its citizens. By embracing renewable sources of electricity generation, India stands poised to lead by example, contributing to the global fight against climate change and inspiring nations around the world to follow suit.
REMEMBERING PROF MS SWAMINATHAN: The Father of the Indian Green Revolution
- Professor M S Swaminathan was a legendary figure in Indian agriculture, renowned as the “Father of the Green Revolution.” His life and work had a profound impact on food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development, both in India and across the globe.
- Some key points about Professor Swaminathan:
- Born: August 7, 1925, in Kumbakonam, India
- Died: September 28, 2023, in Chennai, India
- Profession: Agronomist, agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, administrator, and humanitarian
- Key achievements:
- Led the Green Revolution in India, which resulted in dramatically increased food production and saved millions from hunger.
- Developed high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice that were resistant to disease and pests.
- Advocated for sustainable agricultural practices and environmental conservation.
- Founded the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), which continues to work on improving agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods.
- Awards and recognitions:
- World Food Prize (1987)
- Albert Einstein World Award of Science (1986)
- Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1971)
- Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development (2000)
- Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award (2007)
- Professor Swaminathan's legacy is vast and enduring. He is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of agriculture, and his work continues to inspire and guide scientists and policymakers around the world.
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