India and Sri Lanka discuss Digital Public Infrastructure.


A conference on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) organized by the High Commission of India, in partnership with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Technology, was held in Colombo,recently.

According to the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, the conference, explored the transformative potential of DPI for enabling service delivery, empowering communities by fostering inclusivity and enriching the economy by driving innovation.

The three sessions included an Opening Plenary with the keynote address delivered by the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, wherein he applauded the conference for being timely.

President Wickremesinghe underlined DPI as a vital enabler for the digitisation of the Sri Lankan economy. He emphasised the need for collaboration with India in, highlighting the potential of fast-tracking growth by adapting India’s successful strategies domestically.

India’s digital transformation and the significance of DPI and India Stack were elaborated upon by the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha in his Welcome Remarks and by Dr. Pramod Varma, Co-Chair, Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure (CDPI) in his presentation during the Opening Plenary.

The other two sessions saw discussions amongst experts from India, Sri Lanka and the region.
The themes of Accelerating Digital Sri Lanka and Unlocking the Digital Stack were discussed. The former focused e-governance across the board, with the opening remarks by State Minister of Technology, Kanaka Herath. The session was opened by MP Dr. Harsha de Silva.He discussed accelerating Digital Sri Lanka and unlocking the digital stack.

The conference was particularly enriched with several breakout meetings between visiting experts from India and their Sri Lankan counterparts as well as other stakeholders. A key highlight of these was an interaction of the visiting senior officials from the Government of India’s Ministries handling Digital India and Startup India programmes with Senior Officials who are leading the six Working Groups of the Government of Sri Lanka on Digital Economy.

Futuristic linkages were also initiated in the startup and IT industries domain on the sidelines of the conference. In the afternoon, Startup India’s team held a capacity-building workshop for startups in Sri Lanka, including sessions by Indian experts on the art of pitching and effective marketing. The Chief of IIT Chennai’s Incubator ‘Parvartak’ interacted with key startup incubators in Sri Lanka. Chairman NASSCOM also called on the President of Sri Lanka.

According to the Indian High Commission, the conference is another step in the series of initiatives being undertaken to implement the Vision Document adopted by the Prime Minister of India and the President of Sri Lanka during the latter’s visit to India in July 2023 to promote connectivity. India’s ongoing grant assistance for establishing the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity (SL-UDI) Project is a key building block for the digital transformation of Sri Lanka aided by DPI. The various engagements today emphasised the immense potential to leverage India’s DPI in accordance with Sri Lanka’s requirements and priorities towards effective and efficient delivery of citizen-centric services to the people of Sri Lanka.