The Science of Delivering Online IDs to a Billion People: The Aadhaar Experience
This event has concluded.DATE: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
TIME: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (13:00 – 14:30 GMT or convert time)
LOCATION: Online and World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC
As part of the Bank's Development Economics Lecture series, Nandan Nilekani, one of the world's leading entrepreneurs in information technology, spoke on Aadhaar, India's massive initiative to create a unique system for the biometric identification of its residents. Aadhaar has already assigned 12 digit identification numbers to over 300 million people and will eventually enroll all of India's 1.2 billion residents.
Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu chaired the event, introducing the speaker, the topic, and its implications for development. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim delivered opening remarks and commented on the importance of the subject to the World Bank Group. Questions and answers followed Mr. Nilekani's talk.
The Unique Identification Authority of India created the system with an open programmable interface so that multiple applications can be built. The first major application Direct Benefits Transfer will electronically distribute money to millions of people by the end of 2013. Over the next few years a large number of applications providing transformational benefits to residents of India are expected to be developed by public and private entities.
The Aadhaar initiative uses the most sophisticated technology (Internet class architecture, multi-modal biometrics, ubiquitous data connectivity, tablets, etc.) to solve the most basic of development challenges. The project is being implemented as an open ecosystem, where enrollment will drive applications, and more applications will drive enrollment. The Aadhaar project is an example of doing a very large development project which requires, scale, speed, quality, and low costs goals to be met.
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