India has a population of over 1.2 billion, with over two-fifth of children are underfed. India has millions that are poverty stricken citizens (earns less than $2 a day) with no ID, which strips their privilege to modern economy and government aid. India’s government aid is $8 billion every year, with a good portion of it going to “ghost workers,” those who easily steal others identity to receive others aid.
Aadhaar, Unique Identification (UID) project
- Creates ID linking to all ten fingerprints, a iris scan along with name, address, age, and gender
- Verifiable and Portable
- Difficult to imitate ID
- World’s largest biometric database
- Enrolled 200 million people (April, 2012)
This is not the first time India has attempted to create a identification system. As my professor, Mohan Kannan (an ethic Indian), said in class, “I have at least 4 IDs at home from India.”
If Aadhaar is successful, it will tremendously benefit the poverty class. “Ghost workers,” will be hard to maintained after Aadhaar. The ones in need, the poor, will have a greater opportunity of receiving their benefits. Also, this will allow the poverty to be part of the economy, giving them opportunities to credit and the banking system. In addition, the potential new bank accounts can add billions to the financial system.
Like everything else, this system is not perfect. There is a 1 percent chance of error in ID and duplications. Also, India’s privacy and data protection laws must be strengthen to minimize identity theft and protect the data collected. Nonetheless, the benefits outweigh the risks.