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Digital Empowerment Programme held by PAN IIT

PAN IIT organized a panel discussion on the 22nd of July, Saturday at PC Saxena Auditorium, IIT Bombay. The topic of the discussion was “Transforming to a cash-less society”. PAN IIT is the alumni association with 30,000 IITians coming from all the IITs.  PAN IIT is carrying out nationwide program to take leadership to spread digital policies of the Government of India to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The program majorly aims at five themes- Reforming Governance through Technology, transforming to a cash-less society, strengthening government initiatives such as Start-up India and Stand-up India, digital empowerment of society- Education/Health and digital transformation of agriculture.

The event started with a welcome and introductory speech by Mr. Deepak Patil, Vice- Chairman, PAN IIT Alumni Association. This was followed by a theme introduction by Mr. Ashank Desai, Mastek (Theme Leader) and Sandeep Sonpatki, Deloitte. They underlined the challenges that the country faces in becoming a technologically independent country. The keynote address was given by Mr. A.P. Hota, CEO, NPCI.  Mr. A.P. Hota has been involved in the decision making of processes in Payment Systems and Financial Inclusion in particular. He enumerated as well as explained the policies of the government to enhance the digital payments. He emphasized the fact that the digital payments can be enhanced by making the bill payments as well as smaller transactions digital. He also emphasized on the fact that mobile as an instrument of payment has high potential. The newer initiatives like Adhar based biometric payment modes can make a viable alternative for payment in rural areas.

 The event proceeded with rapid talks by the panelists followed by the Panel Discussion. The panelists were- Mr. Sanjeev Chandak( Co-Founder and CEO, FtCash),Mr.  Madhivan Balakrishnan (CTO and CDO ICICI Bank), Mr. Sangram Singh (Head- Cards and Payment, Axis Bank) and Dr. G. Shivakumar (Professor,IIT Bombay). Mr. Ashank Desai was the moderator for the panel discussion.

The discussion evolved with the bankers explaining the initiatives that the banks are coming up with to supplement the policies of digital empowerment of the government and the issues they are facing in doing so. The alternative business models they are developing with these policies in view.  Dr. Shivakumar talked about the technologies involved and the alternatives that we may be shifting to in the near future.

The discussion was followed by questions from the audience which was answered by the panelists as well as Mr. Hota. The summary of the discussion was given by Mr. Sandeep followed by Vote of Thanks was given by Ashok Kalbag, Convener(West), PAN IIT Alumni India.