“Besides healthcare, education, retail and logistics are other big sectors that will benefit from digital technology,” he said in the first annual lecture organised by the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI), through virtual platform.
Admitting that solving complexities of the country required diverse skills and experiences, Nilekani called for local strategy and partnerships on priority.
“To bring policy changes, stakeholders should have facts to demonstrate through data a positive network effect on society,” he said.
Referring to the lecture’s theme on “playing a role in policy, my experiences”, Nilekani said policy was all about how to make the country better, create more jobs and better future for the young.
“Policy is something which has positive externalities,” he pointed out.
On Aadhaar or the 12-digit Unique Identification Number for every citizen, which he pioneered as the first chairman of the UIDAI over a decade ago, Nilekani said it can play a role in the direct benefit transfer in the power and water sectors too.
“Aadhaar can lead to effective distribution and better delivery mechanism,” he said.
Highlighting the ways to encourage policy making to build emerging digital technologies, Nilekani said those who believed in possible change and transformation, they have to formulate and keep policies ready.
“Government schemes like Diksha in the education sector and the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) in the healthcare sector had a transformative digital impact as both were well conceptualised,” he noted.
As a platform for corporate/public affairs practitioners across the country, the 11-year-old PAFI has been promoting transparent public affairs, advocacy and policy making.