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India’s Minister of Finance Speaks on Technology, Finance, and Governance

October 13, 2022

“The topic is quite unusual, but at the same time actually very very meaningful for India,” India's Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman told a packed auditorium of SAIS students, faculty, and staff in a speech delivered on Oct. 13, 2022. “Because good governance in India is being achieved — and I wouldn’t say it’s already completely achieved, I would say it’s being achieved — by use of technology. And a certain transformation has happened which I can say with certain confidence in the last two years. The level of acceptance, the level of adaptation by the people is unbelievable.”

There were times when India had to catch up to global benchmarks and standards, Sitharaman noted at the beginning of her remarks. But "on the digital [side] ... India has actually set the benchmarks," she continued. SAIS Professor Pravin Krishna moderated a conversation with Sitharaman that ranged from technology and scaling goods, to finance and good governance.

This was the opportunity of a lifetime.

After the address, SAIS students had the unique opportunity to meet privately with Sitharaman, pose questions, and even take selfies. "This was the opportunity of a lifetime," said Ankita Kakkar, a second year SAIS student studying international relations.

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India's Minister of Finance