CS Lectures

Dr. Pramod Varma

Dr. Pramod Varma / The Unfolding — Digital Revolution & Techade in India



India has seen a digital boom in the last five years, especially after Covid-19 Pandemic. The number of people going online, shopping, and making online payments through phones, Wallets, or their credit/debit cards has surged dramatically in recent years. According to the latest data, the number of Universal Payment Interface (UPI) transactions surpassed 9.4 billion for the first time in May 2023, up a strong 58% YoY. This remarkable growth signifies a continued upward trend in the adoption of digital payments, showcasing the country’s increasing reliance on convenient and secure online transactions.

The UPI is part of the India Stack, a set of services and application programmer interfaces (apis) combining digital identity, digital payments, a digital document locker, domain specific data standards, and a standard for controlled exchange of personal data. The India stack supports the digitalisation of banking services, business transaction and governmental services that is a bout to change the Indian economy and society.The India Stack has been adopted in several other countries, and especially the digital payment infrastructure is utilised in countries like France and the Benelux.

The lecture will present the architecture of the India Stack and its building blocks. It will discuss the societal changes started by its utilisation in the areas of ecommerce, health, digital identity and transportation. Finally, the next steps and future developments are outlined.

About the Speaker

Dr. Pramod Varma is the former Chief Architect of Aadhaar, India's digital identity program that has successfully covered more than 1.3 billion people. He was also the chief architect for various India Stack layers such as eSign, Digital Locker, and Unified Payment Interface (UPI), and Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA), and all of which are now working at population scale in India. He played an integral role in architecting India’s digital health infrastructure (ABDM), vaccination & immunization infrastructure (Co-WIN and DIVOC), and the Unified Health Interface (UHI).

Pramod holds a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science along with a second Master’s in Applied Mathematics. His interests include Internet scale distributed architectures and intelligent systems. He is passionate about technology, science, society, and teaching.