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Special Content

Issue no 49, 4-10 March 2023

India Stack

A Global Repository of India's Digital Initiatives


The first-ever India Stack Developer Conference was held in New Delhi in January 2023. The event saw participation of over a hundred digital leaders from Industry Associations, Industry System Integrators and Startups. The conference was organised to provide a platform for the industry and developer community to explore ways to develop a robust startup and innovation ecosystem within the country and also market India Stack products at the global level. The event also saw participation of delegates of G20 countries. India is working on a mission to offer India Stack or the part of the stack to those enterprises and countries across the world that want to innovate and further integrate, execute and implement digital transformation. As stated by the Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the digital solutions that India has to offer today is IndiaStack 1.0, which subsequently will become more nuanced, intelligent and sophisticated, and will keep evolving with time and newer technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence).


What is India Stack? India Stack is the moniker for a set of open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and Digital Public Goods that aim to unlock the economic primitives of identity, data, and payments at population scale. The name 'India Stack' is used to describe a collection of disparate technology products and frameworks. The components of this collection are owned and maintained by different agencies. The basic building blocks of India Stack are based on open standards, are interoperable and have been made available through open APIs for entrepreneurs and developers to build valueadded products and services. System integrators, private sector technology companies and entrepreneurs are inherent part of the India Stack Ecosystem. India's journey of digital transformation has been of 'Innovation, Implementation and Inclusion.' 'The country has pioneered uniquely innovative digital projects, implemented population scale transformational projects, and ensured digital inclusion - with an objective of providing affordable access to digital services to all citizens. The rapid adoption by billions of individuals and businesses has helped promote financial and social inclusion. India, using digital means, has achieved financial inclusion for 80% of its population in six years as compared to the projected figure of 46 years

What Constitute India Stack?

Presently, the India Stack suite consists of 12 Digital Global Goods aimed at tech access and transformation at scale. These are:

1.       Aadhaar (Digital Identity): Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion. Aadhaar identity platform with its inherent features of uniqueness, authentication, financial address and e-KYC (Know Your Customer), enables the Government to directly reach residents of the country in delivery of various services. UIDAI Ecosystem comprises Enrolment & Update Ecosystem and Authentication Ecosystem. UIDAI facilitates authentication through Authentication Service Agencies and Authentication User Agencies from various Government and nonGovernment organisations. Realtime authentication is provided through deployment of dedicated data centres in active-active mode to ensure high availability. The entire technology architecture behind Aadhaar is based on principles of openness, linear scalability, strong security, and most importantly vendor neutrality. Aadhaar technology backbone is built using the principles of open architecture, design for scale, and data security.

2.       Unified Payment Interface (UPI): Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the "Peer to Peer" collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience. UPI allows immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24*7 and 365 days; single mobile application for accessing different bank accounts; single click 2 factor authentication; virtual address of the customer for Pull & Push provides for incremental security with the customer not required to enter the details such as card number, account number; IFSC, etc; QR Code (Scan and Pay); merchant payment with single application or inapp payments. UPI provides the cashless layer to India Stack.

3.       Digilocker (Paperless Governance): DigiLocker aims at 'Digital Empowerment' of citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen's digital document wallet. DigiLocker's mission is to eliminate the need for physical documents and facilitate the sharing of e-documents among institutions and organizations, using a process that verifies the authenticity of the documents online. DigiLocker uses several tools, APIs and services for providing its document sharing & verification capability, such as ownCloud, UIDAI, NIC, C-DAC, Parallel Labs, and Jharkhand Police. The DigiLocker system is developed on an Open Source stack and the components in its entirety or in parts may be made available to other countries for their own implementation of a similar product.

4.       UMANG (Mobile Governance): UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to local Government bodies. UMANG enables 'Ease of Living' for Citizens by providing easy access to a plethora of Indian government services ranging from - healthcare, finance, education, housing, energy, agriculture, transport, utility, employment and skills. The app has empowered citizens by reducing the hassle of downloading a myriad of apps and has provided relief from fake apps menace.

5.       API Setu (Data Exchange): API Setu is an API platform to enable swift, transparent, safe, and reliable information sharing across applications and to promote innovation by linking systems and data. It promotes data and APIdriven culture. API Setu facilitates implementation of Open API Policy; enables seamless service delivery, making Government systems interoperable; enables quick and transparent software integration with other e-Governance applications and systems; enables and promotes safe and reliable sharing of information and data across various e-Governance applications and systems; promotes innovation through the availability of data from e-Governance applications and systems to the industry and public; provides guidance to Government departments in developing, publishing and consuming these APIs; and promotes 'API first' approach, enabling an ecosystem of value-added services and related cost savings.

6.       Co-WIN Vaccination Platform (Digital Immunisation Coverage): Co-WIN was launched with the objectives of ensuring an end-to-end solution for vaccination drive in the country and to facilitate equitable distribution of vaccines across the country ensuring accessibility to all. Several apps have been integrated with Co-WIN that provide search, booking and certification facility to their users. This platform is being repurposed for accommodating Universal Immunisation Program and other use cases such as blood donation, organ donation, etc. and are compliant to India's National health ecosystem-Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). Co-WIN developed an international version of the immunisation certificate aligned with WHO-DDCC:VS for Indian beneficiaries to facilitate overseas travel. An MoU has been signed between India and Guyana for integration of the Co-WIN platform into their own health ecosystem. More than 12 countries including Nepal, Zambia, South Sudan, etc. have expressed interest in the platform. To facilitate cross-border travel, the Indian government is working with international organisations like WHO and ICAO to establish a trust framework for the acceptance of digitally verifiable immunisation certificates.

7.       Government e-Marketplace (Public Procurement): From enhancing competitiveness, transparency, accountability and facilitating time-bound and systematic payment in public procurement to Government buyers, GeM offers end-toend automated solutions right from order to fulfillment. The portal features over 11,000 product categories with more than 29 lakh listed products, as well as over 270 service categories with more than 2.5 lakh service offerings. GeM currently is optimised for procurement by Indian central and state entities based on GFR guidelines and associated business rules. Customisation may be required basis the rules/laws of any other country targetted to be operated in. GeM currently follows a four-level organization hierarchy which would be required to be mapped for friendly countries.

8.       DIKSHA (Digital Education) : Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) offers engaging learning material, relevant to the prescribed school curriculum, to teachers, students, and parents. DIKSHA can be accessed by learners and teachers across the country and currently supports 36 Indian languages. DIKSHA is built on the free open source platform 'Sunbird' - 'Made in India', and 'Made for the World'. It builds on five Personas (viz. Student, Teacher, Parent, Administrator, and Community Member), three Scenarios (viz. Learn, Help Learn and Manage Learn) and two Interactions (viz. Learning and Administration). DIKSHA's building blocks were used for multiple use cases with complete sovereign control.

9.       e-Hospital (Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission): Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) connects the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other. Under this, the e-Hospital project is a digital ecosystem that enables a host of facilities like digital consultation, consent of patients in letting medical practitioners access their records, etc. This initiative supports ease of living by providing an online patient portal for delivery of citizen centric services. To standardize the process of identification of an individual across healthcare providers, the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) Number is created. It enables interaction with participating healthcare providers, and allows patients to receive digital lab reports, prescriptions and diagnosis seamlessly from verified healthcare professionals and health service providers.

10.   Aarogya Setu (Digital Contact Tracing): India launched Aarogya Setu mobile app for helping augment the efforts of limiting the spread of COVID-19, with an objective of enabling bluetooth-based contact tracing, mapping of likely hotspots and dissemination of relevant information about the disease. The "contact tracing, syndromic mapping and selfassessment" digital service was developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The source code of Aarogya Setu has now been made open source. With the release of the source code in the public domain, the Government sought to expand collaboration and to leverage the expertise of top technical brains amongst the talented youth and citizens of our nation and to collectively build a robust and secure technology solution to help support the work of frontline health workers in fighting this pandemic together. Aarogya Setu has transformed into a National Health App, bringing the users a whole plethora of digital health services powered by Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

11.   e-Sanjeevani (Telemedicine Solution): e-Sanjeevani is a cloudbased real-time population scale telemedicine platform. It enables access to quality health services, reduces outof-pocket expense (on health services) for patients, bridges rural-urban digital health divide, thereby ushering a digital health revolution in the country. e-Sanjeevani consists of two verticals that cater to patients across all states and UTs. The first vertical 'e-Sanjeevani AB-HWC' endeavours to bridge rurale-Sanjeevani is a cloudbased real-time population scale telemedicine platform. It enables access to quality health services, reduces outof-pocket expense (on health services) for patients, bridges rural-urban digital health divide, thereby ushering a digital health revolution in the country. e-Sanjeevani consists of two verticals that cater to patients across all states and UTs. The first vertical 'e-Sanjeevani AB-HWC' endeavours to bridge rural.

12.   e-Office (Digital Workplace): e-Office is a complete digital workplace solution for Government offices with a vision to achieve a Simplified, Responsive, Effective and Transparent paperless working in Government offices by providing convenient way for officials to access information related to every aspect of their working and knowledge sharing through a single gateway to information and services. It is a web-based and cloud enabled product that brings together the independent functions and systems under a single framework. The Open Architecture on which e-Office has been built, makes it a standard reusable product amenable to replication across the Governments, at all levels, and is also being accepted at international level.

Compiled by: Annesha Banerjee and Anuja Bhardwajan Source: indiastack. global/apisetu.gov.in/ vikaspedia/PIB/IMF/india.g ov.in/ispirit.in