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India’s Aadhaar scheme endorsed by World Bank
May 9, 2013, 9:16 am


Aadhaar is a 12-digit number which the UIDAI is issuing to all residents in India [UIDAI]

India’s ‘Aadhaar card’ is one of the best examples of integration of technology for social welfare use, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Kim said this massive effort by the Indian Government would help in achieving his goal of poverty eradication by 2030.

“On a larger scale we’ve got to think about how we can integrate this technology into a massive effort to scale up access to financial services,” Kim said at a recent World Bank event during which Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Indian sceme, made a presentation on the Aadhaar programme at the bank headquarters in Washington.

Nilekani is the head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

In what has been described as the world’s largest biometric identity exercise, Aadhaar is a 12-digit number which the UIDAI is issuing to all residents in India.

The UIDAI is storing basic demographic and biometric information including a photograph, ten fingerprints and an eye scan of each individual being issued the number in a central database.

However, many people in India have raised concerns surrounding security and data misuse related to the scheme.

The world bank president said Aadhaar could help achieve the target of eradicating poverty by 2030 in ways big and small.

“On a comparatively smaller scale being able to keep online records of what medicines tuberculosis patients, for example, have been getting, could help us in curtailing the ability of certain strains of tuberculosis to get more and more resistant over time,” Kim noted.

“I see this as the beginning of an institution-wide conversation about how we can make this system work for everybody. I’m not quite sure how to do it, so I’m hoping all our staff will continue to come to us with ideas on how to make this work on a large scale,” he said.

“This is the science of delivery. Now, more than ever, we have to find innovations like these that have been thought through carefully, and are quickly and easily scalable,” the World Bank president said.

Source: Agencies