UAE's Omar bin Sultan Al Olama and India's Rajeev Chandrasekhar in conversation at the India Global Forum in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE’s Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, on Wednesday praised India’s decision to chart its own path with the India Stack infrastructure rather than trying to follow anyone else.

“India did not emulate anyone. They created their own path that many others are emulating,” he said. “That a country the size of India was able to implement something that cutting edge in less than a decade, I cannot state how incredible that is.”

Al Olama said it is remarkably impressive that India could build the solution from scratch and scale it to a billion people in less than 10 years, something which he said is impossible even for a private company in Silicon Valley. “It is clear that what we are seeing right now is a snowball that is moving much faster and getting much bigger from India dominating this sphere globally,” the minister added. Al Olama said this while in conversation with Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Electronics and Information Technology, at the India Global Forum 2022, which is underway in Dubai.

Chandrasekhar said the India Stack solved a government problem that India had for decades. “It solved the problem of trust between government and citizens.” He said the India Stack today represents an opportunity for the Global South, countries that in a sense, have been left behind or could not afford digitisation like advanced nations. “It gives them an opportunity to rapidly climb up the ladder of digitisation that many other countries have successfully achieved,” he added.

About the UAE-India partnership, Al Olama said the two countries have historically tended to gravitate towards each other thanks to several factors like similarity in cultures as well as geographical advantages. He said this longstanding relationship will make sure that the CEPA agreement is bound to succeed. “We will bring the diversity of talent and access to markets, and India is going to bring the sheer ingenuity of talent and the robustness of the infrastructure that exists there,” Al Olama concluded.