Overview for The Aadhaar Effect: Why the World's Largest Identity Project Matters
Journalists N.S. Ramnath and Charles Assisi dive deep into the 12-digit number that has touched 1.2 billion lives and counting-and in the bargain, made the world sit up and take note of India’s ambition.
The Aadhaar Effect is a journalistic account of one of the biggest and audacious transformational projects in India that leverages the power of technology to help improve the lives of a billion people.
It is the rst in a series around themes that Founding Fuel has identied as crucial for those in leadership roles. It has engaged in formal relationships with ne minds and universities across the world so that learnings from thought leaders can be distilled and transmitted on what it takes to shape public policy and build enterprises that last. To know more visit www.foundingfuel.com
The Aadhaar Effect is the story of how India built a bunch of digital platforms to bring hundreds of millions of people into the digital economy-via a national, biometric identity system, a payments interface, a consent architecture, etc. There is deep interest in India’s rise around the world. And Aadhaar is a leitmotif of both India’s tech prowess and social transformation.
Except that not enough people are quite well-versed with the strategic intent-or the transformative power of Aadhaar. The story behind Aadhaar remains, for most part, untold. There is a need for more people to read about, engage and debate the idea behind Aadhaar. Because it holds the key to how India-and indeed other emerging markets-can possibly leapfrog, using the power of technology.
It has kicked up intense, polarised debate on its impact, with some claiming it is all good, and others claiming it is all bad. Both sides miss the truth.
Tens of millions of Indians did not have an identity that was accepted across the country. The government lacked the capacity to provide targeted welfare and benefits to people who needed it most.
By building Aadhaar as an identity platform, a Lego block, the ambitious project aimed to address both issues. It gave identity to every resident in the country. And it allowed governments, social enterprises and businesses to build innovative solutions on top of the platform.
The story of Aadhaar is about how these blocks came to be built and how they are being used and misused, on the ground.
It’s a story that will be of interest to policy makers, business leaders, tech executives, social entrepreneurs, key influencers in the development sector, and just about anyone who has to deal with this complex, dynamic and messy world.
Contents: Preface. Prologue: The Future. 1. The hare and the tortoise. 2. The art of war. 3. The platform paradox. 4. When a butterfly flaps its wings. 5. Insurgents, incumbents, pioneers and leaders. 6. The naysayers. 6.1 Who’s afraid of aadhaar? A directory of the pain points of the world’s largest identity programme. 7. India and the world. Epilogue. Index.