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SCO adopts India's proposal on DPI

2023 MAY 16

Preliminary   > International Relations   >   Strategic Groupings   >   International groupings

Why in news?

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has recently adopted India's proposal to support the development and adoption of the country's digital public infrastructure (DPI).
  • This move highlights India's leadership in the digital realm and its commitment to bridging the digital divide in the region.

What is DPI?

  • DPI refers to blocks or platforms such as digital identification, payment infrastructure and data exchange solutions that help countries deliver essential services to their people, empowering citizens and improving lives by enabling digital inclusion.
  • India, through India Stack, became the first country to develop all three foundational DPIs:
    • Digital identity (Aadhar)
    • Real-time fast payment (UPI)
    • Account Aggregator built on the Data Empowerment Protection Architecture (DEPA).

About India's DPI proposal at SCO:

  • India’s DPI proposal entails supporting the development and adoption of India’s DPI by the member states of the SCO.
  • The proposal includes platforms such as Aadhaar, United Payments Interface (UPI), and DigiLocker which are based on open and interoperable application programming interfaces (APIs) and enable digital inclusion, innovation, and social empowerment.
  • These platforms aim to provide a robust and secure digital infrastructure for various services.
  • India’s DPI proposal also entails collaborating with the SCO members on various aspects of digital public infrastructure such as design, development, implementation, evaluation, and governance.

How does India's DPI benefit the SCO members?

  • By offering them a model of developing their own DPI based on open and interoperable APIs.
  • The proposal can help the SCO members to achieve their common goals of enhancing connectivity, trade, tourism, education, health care, and security in the region.
  • It can also help the SCO members to address their common challenges of the digital divide, cyber threats, data protection, and privacy in the digital era.


About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
  • Currently the SCO comprises of Eight member states:
    • India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Four observer states, namely Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, and Mongolia.
  • Six dialogue partners, namely Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.
  • India and Pakistan joined the SCO in 2017.
  • In the 2021 SCO summit in Dushanbe, the members of SCO agreed to admit Iran as a member while Belarus has also begun the membership process.

Expansion of SCO:

  • China and Russia are looking to frame the SCO as a counter to the West — particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Moreover, China has also drawn a sharp contrast between SCO and NATO.
  • It said that SCO is a cooperative organization based on non-alignment and not targeting a third party. On the other hand, NATO is based on Cold War thinking. The logic of NATO is to create new enemies to sustain its own existence.

Upcoming summits of SCO:

  • The 2022 annual summit of the SCO was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
  • The 2023 SCO summit will be hosted by India.
    • Theme: 'Towards a SECURE SCO''.
    • The concept of SECURE stand for: 'S' for security for citizens, 'E' for economic development, 'C' for connectivity in the region, 'U' for unity, 'R' for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and 'E for environment protection.


Which of the following countries are members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)?

1. India

2. Pakistan

3. China

4. Russia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 3 and 4 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4