Aadhaar, India’s national biometric identity program, is garnering attention from around the world, reports VCCircle. At least, that’s the view of R.S. Sharma, former head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government body charged with administrating Aadhaar.
Now employed as the head of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Sharma continues to be a proponent of the Aadhaar system, which is used to administrate a growing range of civil services, from distributing subsidies to authenticating customers for ATM banking. Speaking to VCCircle, Sharma says that in a recent web conference he addressed “executives from 17 countries in Africa and Latin Amerca, which have evinced a lot of interest in this digital identity project,” adding that after he delivered a three-day presentation on Aadhaar “Morocco has now changed its entire strategy”. VCCircle also reports that Russia has shown interest in the program.
The interest is merited. India’s Aadhaar is perhaps the world’s most ambitious digital identity program, and it offers impactful applications in a number of government activities and projects that are being undertaken in other countries, such as the biometric registration of mobile subscribers, for example—a complex undertaking, and one in which tying identities to a national database offers obvious benefits.
For Sharma’s part, he’s now heading to Fiji to present on “digital financial inclusion,” he said. That topic, too, should help to further drum up interest in Aadhaar and its benefits.
August 31, 2016 – by Alex Perala