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Mains Answer Writing


Q1) The trajectory of India’s future growth is contingent on leveraging the potential of and minimizing the concerns associated with Digital Physical Infrastructure (DPI). Explain with suitable illustrations.

(250 Words/15 Marks)



Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) refers to the technological infrastructure, platforms, and services that are established and maintained by governments or public entities to enable digital interactions, services, and operations for the benefit of the public.


DPI’s role in digitally enabling citizens and businesses is as follows:

  1. It is needed to protect individuals and businesses from the monopolistic practices of big tech.

E.g., UPI to counter data colonization by VISA, Google etc.

  1. It is key for growth of inclusive e-commerce.

E.g., ONDC for small retailers’ digital onboarding.

  1. It is needed to address financial inclusion goals through targeted delivery of benefits, subsidies, scholarships etc.

E.g., JAM trinity, Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) for democratizing credit-access.

  1. E-governance:
  2. a) DPI enables online delivery of public services with better transparency, accountability, and efficiency.

E.g., CPGRAMS for grievances, digital marksheets and e-verification in digilocker.

  1. b) DPI fast-tracks project monitoring and approvals.

E.g., PM-Gati-Shakti portal.

  1. Digital Development: Platforms such as SWAYAM, Diksha enable digital education. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission is creating the backbone of an integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.
  2. DPI is critical for modernization of India’s agriculture.

E.g., Agri-stack for use of digital tools in agriculture, Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme etc.


DPI’s positive role in digitally enabling citizens and business is obvious, but it also faces the following challenges of exclusion, exploitation, and monopolization:

  1. The ‘digital have nots’ get further marginalized as development gets digitized.

E.g., lack of smartphones and digital devices for accessing digital education.

  1. Lack of supporting infrastructure such as regular supply of electricity and reliable internet connectivity give digital India an urban bias.
  2. Digital avenues for exploitation of the vulnerable.

E.g., digital frauds, vishing, breach of datasecurity and hacking of banking infrastructure.

  1. Centralization of digital infrastructure makes it susceptible to cyber-attacks and vulnerable to damage.
  2. Concerns of surveillance and ‘big brother state’.

E.g., controversies on Pegasus spyware.


Following measures can help address the challenges faced by DPI:

  1. Bridge the digital divide through campaigns for digital literacy, and expansion of broadband infrastructure in the rural areas. Use Community Service Centres for filling last-mile gaps.
  2. The bills on personal and non-personal data protection must translate into policy. Transparency, consent mechanisms, and accountability measures should be implemented
  3. Continuous monitoring, risk assessment, and public-private collaborations will strengthen cybersecurity resilience.
  4. Foster a competitive digital ecosystem through open standards, interoperability, and fair market access.

Harnessing the potential of DPI requires a balance between enabling digital empowerment and safeguarding the rights, privacy, and security of individuals and businesses. With sufficient safeguards, DPI can serve as a catalyst for inclusive growth, innovation, and sustainable development in the digital age.

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