Aadhar – Building India 4.0

Aadhar – Building India 4.0

IAIP hosted a presentation by Govindraj Ethiraj, Head of Industry Outreach, UIDAI, Govt of India Planning Commission for an overview on Aadhar project and associated benefits to the citizens of the country. The event was well attended.

To start with Aadhar is a unique identification number given to each resident of the country irrespective of his or her nationality. UIDAI, the institution responsible for issuing each individual an identity, collects through its registered agencies very basic data like complete name, date of birth, gender, address, name of father-husband-guardian and biometric information like the fingerprints of all the ten fingers and iris and issues a unique randomly generated 12 digit number on a card. This number will become the basis or proof for activities like opening a bank account, getting benefits & entitlements like subsidized food or money under NREGA scheme directly into the bank account, reduced transaction cost to access benefits etc. The Central and State governments benefit from better reach & targeting, reduced cost of service & leakages, greater efficiency and effectiveness.


Currently we all have to submit photo identity proof like passport or PAN card or ration card for opening bank accounts, meeting with KYC (know your clients) norms while investing in mutual funds etc. Once Aadhar is issued to each individual it will become the basis for identifying and validating the individual. RBI has modified the KYC norms for banks and made an UID a sufficient document for opening a no-frills bank account. India is highly under-penetrated market for such basic services as banking. As per reports 41% of the population in India is unbanked. In terms of households 203mn in numbers are excluded from the formal banking system. Only 30,000 habitations of the 600,000 have a bank. So as a part of financial inclusion obligations, banks like BOI have issued smart cards based on Aadhar, which could be used at any ATM or POS terminals (Point of Sale).  UID project, whose pace of implementation is likely to pick by Oct-2011 to 1.0mn cards a day, will result into 600 Aadhar cards by 2014.

To check about your Aadhar card or statistics like enrollments etc visit https://portal.uidai.gov.in/uidwebportal/dashboard.do

About the speaker:         

Govindraj Ethiraj is Head of Industry Outreach at the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Planning Commission, Government of India. In his present role he spearheads the industry interface and outreach efforts to create active partnerships for UID applications (Aadhaar) for hundreds of millions of Indian residents.  Prior to UIDAI, Govindraj has been a career business journalist who has reported on and engaged with Indian industry for the last 20 years. In the last three stints, he has largely been in entrepreneurial-managerial roles in addition to his role as an Editor. Previously, he was the Founder-Editor in Chief of Bloomberg UTV, a 24 hours business news service launched out of Mumbai and a partnership between Bloomberg LLP and the UTV Group in India.  Prior to setting up Bloomberg UTV in 2007, he worked with Business Standard newspaper as Editor (New Media) for over a year with a specific mandate of integrating the newspaper’s news operations with its digital or web platform.  Before that, Govindraj spent over five years with television channel CNBC-TV18 as Corporate Editor where he worked from near start-up point and actively drove most of the network’s programming growth and major expansion initiatives, including its Mumbai operations. Govindraj graduated from Elphinstone College in Mumbai in 1990 and is a Fellow at The Aspen Institute, Colorado, USA.