At the end of March in Colombo, the High Commission of India and the Ministry of Technology, Government of Sri Lanka held a conference exploring opportunities for Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI).

India is investing in key parts of Sri Lanka’s digital transformation, providing grant support for the development of the Unique Digital Identity Project to the tune of roughly $5.4 million.

In one session, President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said collaborating with India can help his country accelerate its growth by adopting what was successful about India Stack. In another session, experts spoke about adopting DPI in Sri Lanka and progressing towards comprehensive digital governance.

Another discussed the potential for DPI to benefit startups by unifying technology, markets, and governance. In a breakout session with stakeholders from both countries, Startup India’s team hosted a capacity building workshop for Sri Lanka’s startups.

Another breakout session fostered collaboration between officials involved in Digital India and Startup India programs and those who are leading the six Working Groups of Government of Sri Lanka on Digital Economy.

The Chief of IIT Chennai’s Incubator Parvartak networked with startup incubators in Sri Lanka.

This is a step towards implementing the Vision Document adopted by both countries during Sri Lanka’s visit to India in July 2023 to promote digital inclusion.

Sri Lanka is a 50-in-5 first mover country. Its National Fuel Pass system, which began in July 2022, has been one example of the county’s DPI efforts generating impact.

Led by the Information and Communication Technology Agency and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the system allows users to scan a QR code at fuel stations to use their weekly fuel quota in light of a shortage due to the financial crisis.

The system received over a million registrations on its first day, later reaching 6.5 million registrations, closer to the number of active vehicles in the country. The system eliminated fuel queues, minimized unnecessary consumption, and revived the economy. Monthly fuel import costs decreased from $500 million to $240 million.

It used features from Sri Lanka’s existing DPI such as secure data exchange between interoperable systems, pulling information from the Department of Motor Traffic System for validation, streamlining processes by preventing information silos.


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