Aadhaars: Opportunity for India

Posted By: Rise Team|Dated: July 1, 2011

Several months ago, we told you about the Indian government’s efforts to create unique identification numbers (UID), or Aadhaars, for every citizen of India. Now, just a couple of years into the government’s efforts, the business community is taking notice of these changes and the opportunities they present.

Aadhaars: Opportunity for India

Nearly 8.1 million people have registered for an Aadhaar so far—including the Dalai Lama, who enrolled in April – but there is a long way to go to reach the government’s goal of 1 billion in five years. Still, the UID system is gaining traction throughout India, and citizens and businesses alike are already reaping the benefits.

Opportunities for individuals

Aadhaars have been deemed adequate proof of identity for opening bank accounts, receiving loans, and obtaining mobile subscriptions. Therefore, as individuals are obtaining their UIDs, more doors are opening. In fact, thanks to Aadhaars:

• Daily wage workers are opening bank accounts for the first time ever.

• People previously unqualified for mobile phone SIM cards are obtaining service subscriptions.

• The poor are better able to obtain benefits, thanks to more effective welfare tracking.

In the future, expect to see reduced fraud as individual identity becomes easier to prove.  It will also be possible to hire skilled workers with greater confidence: The UID program will function as a national skills registrar, enabling customers to track a service provider’s credibility and experience.

Opportunities for business

On May 27, the investment news group VCCircle brought together businessmen, investors, architects, and builders in Mumbai to explore the effects of Aadhaars on business in India. The event, VCCircle Insights on the Aadhaar Project, led to some promising insights regarding the future of a variety of industries.

The Information Technology industry could blossom as Aadhaars contribute to new software applications for managing government and business programs. Government welfare programs, such as the Public Distribution System (PDS) for basic foods and Social Security, are using Aadhaars in electronic record keeping. And for the first time, software for the management of electronic records in healthcare and banking is also being developed.

Hardware manufacturing is expected to grow. As Aadhaars make computerization possible in various industries, there will be an increased demand for hardware, databases, and middleware.

Likewise, point of sale devices will become increasingly commonplace in businesses, enabling companies to authenticate identity at the time of service. Depending on the business, these devices may also use Aadhaars to grant access to high-security areas or restricted-access workplaces, as well as at ATMs and during travel.

Opportunities for India

The time is right for India to spearhead these efforts. Our population is growing rapidly, and by tackling the Aadhaars project now, it should remain at a manageable point.

“India had a very small window of opportunity,” Nandan Nilkani, the former CEO of Infosys now leading the Unique Identification Authority of India, said in a recent interview with Knowledge@Wharton. “It has this huge demographic dividend and this young population, but that demographic dividend could well become a demographic disaster if we did not make the right investments in our human capital.”

From welfare distribution and decreased unemployment to employee identification, transparency, national security and beyond, the opportunities for India will continue to grow with the number of Aadhaar registrations.

What opportunities – expected or unexpected – do you think Aadhaars present for the government, businesses, and individuals? What challenges do you anticipate as the UID program moves forward?

 

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  • Shankar M

    Aadhaar is a good initiative which I think will streamline Planned and un-Planned budgetary funds across government as at present very little control is executed on these budgetary data.
     
    For Business application integration across verticals is a challenge if same UID is going to be tagged with each transaction citizen is going to do. This will also propel need to handle data security by properly defining data protection laws by categorizing Customer Sensitive data and Critical National infrastructure.
     
    For Individuals job opportunities in multiple disciplines will surface, and hassles of moving around various departments will come down so a kind of transparency can be seen in Citizen-2-Government, Citizen-2-Business.

    • Shankar M

      14-July-2011 Times of India Hyderabad published an article where-in AP government is going to make Asdhaar card mandatory for all social schemes to keep track of fund utilization. This way planned expenditure/un-planned expenditure control will benefit governments in budget planning subsequently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/appudj Dheeraj Murali

    Aadhar is a novel idea and its implemntation can improve both the social and financial status of India. Implementation of aadhar will help in promoting fair allotment of resources as well as proper tracking of income. These moves will ultimately result in improved social status for all as well as a strict control measure over tax evation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Prashant-Nayak/1478633670 Prashant Nayak

    I am still to understand who will benefit, the common man or the IT Software and Hardware folks. Any clarity?

    • Mohit82

      The whole system is devised to benefit the common man. Government is planning to provide direct cash subsidy transfers to the entitled people. In order to set up such system, IT Software & hardware support is required.

  • Ramaprasad84

    I have a question for all those UID people…in what way the Voters id card is different from UID. if they say Voters card is some thing which can be duplicated then why not UID.. (I know the iris scan and all the stuff ).Is the business case for this can be justified in long time.

    • Mohit82

      The “Aadhaar” number will be linked to the biometric data of the person. How are you going to duplicate the biometrics?

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