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Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of India and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) of Papua New Guinea have taken a significant step towards digital transformation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share India Stack.

Earlier in June 2023, India had already signed MoUs with four countries namely Armenia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, and Antigua & Barbuda to share India Stack, showcasing the growing interest and acceptance of the initiative on a global scale.

What are the key highlights of the MoU between India and Papua New Guinea?

  • The MoU facilitates the sharing of India Stack, to support identity, data, and payment services on a large scale.
  • The MoU focuses on the implementation of population-scale Digital Public Infrastructure and Transformational Platforms/projects to improve living standards and governance efficiency.
  • The collaboration seeks to strengthen digital identity systems and digital payment mechanisms for seamless transactions.

What is India Stack?

  • India Stack is a set of APIs (Application programming interface) that allows governments, businesses, startups, and developers to utilize a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s hard problems towards presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery.
  • India Stack is a government-led initiative that focuses on building a robust digital infrastructure to enable various digital services across different sectors.
  • The components of this collection are owned and maintained by different agencies.
  • INDIA STACK aims to streamline and enhance identity verification, data exchange, and digital payment processes to make them more accessible and efficient for citizens.
  • It includes digital public goods, which are digital resources and tools made available to the public to support various digital services and initiatives.
  • The key components of INDIA STACK include Aadhaar (unique biometric-based identification system), Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for instant digital payments, and Digital Locker for secure storage of personal documents.
  • The vision of India Stack is not limited to one country (India); it can be applied to any nation, be it a developed one or an emerging one.

Papua New Guinea:

  • Papua New Guinea is an island country located in the south-western Pacific. It shares land borders with Indonesia and water border with Australia, and the Solomon Islands.
  • It includes the eastern half of New Guinea and many small offshore islands.
  • The capital is Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea is mainly mountainous but has low-lying plains in southern New Guinea.
  • Papua New Guinea gained self-government in 1973 and full independence in 1975.