To establish I am who I claim I am is muchcomplex puzzle than we generally think And to create an ecosystem ensuring identity for one sixth of humanity is mammoth task having no parallel in history Aadhar A Biometric History of India s 12 Digit Revolution captures this inspiring and exciting story of creation UIDAI and Aadhar Being a heterogeneous institution, UIDAI was and is different from other government initiatives Book narrates this uniqueness as well as politics, economics, technology and sociology behind the idea of Aadhar Book also touches legal and security related aspects associated with the project This is must read tale of Uniquely Indian achievement which materializes wisdom, in words of elderly nomad of Mogiya tribe of Rajasthan from where name of this idea is derived, Pehchaan hi toh jeevan ka aadhar hai Identity is, after all, the foundation of life. You think, looking at the title that there would be a lot of analysis and substance in this book But sadly it sof a narration of several newspaper articles stitched together. A Complex Tale Of Idealism, Negotiation And Realpolitik Records How A Revolution Was EngineeredAadhaar Was Born In July , Yoking Modern Technology And Management Expertise To Political Will The Biometric Based Unique Identification System, Built By Tech Czar Nandan Nilekani And His Team Of Innovators, Was Designed To Enable Subsidies And Social Spends Reach Their True Destination, Plug Institutional Corruption And Save Trillions Of Tax Rupees In July , Aadhaar IsBillion Identities And GrowingIn Aadhaar A Biometric History Of India SDigit Revolution, Senior Journalist Shankkar Aiyar Traces The History Of This Ambitious, Controversial Undertaking He Speaks With President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi And Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, Rahul Gandhi And Others To Document How Politicians With Diametrically Opposed Ideologies Were Equally Determined To Propel AadhaarAiyar Maps How Aadhaar S Application Expanded Beyond Its Original Intent He Researches Its Ups, Downs And Turnarounds Discusses The Concerns Of Activists And Bureaucrats On Potential Misuse Of The Database For State Surveillance Raises The Urgent Need For A Data Protection And Privacy Law And Spells Out The SolutionsAn Unusual Contemporary Dramatization, This Book Is A Breathless Ride Through Recent Changes In India S Political And Economic Landscape A well researched, well written book I never knew what it took to create AADHAAR system I used to take it as just another government project.The way people from government private sector came forward to make AADHAR happen at the risk of losing job security , is phenomenal This gives me hope that the India we all dream of, it s just a fantasy. Aadhar is a unique global project providing biometric identity to every resident of India Mired in controversy since its inception, the project has still managed to scale in an unparalleled way The platform now hasthan 1.1 billion enrollments, making it nothing like any other technology platform anywhere in the world.This has been achieved only in the last eight years or so across two different governments Fit for use solution approach, specificity of purpose, and creating politically relevant uses cases has kept the platform alive and kicking.Jotting down this contemporary history is always difficult, with all key actors very much around and active in public life The author however has captured their thoughts, challenges, and emotions and presented them in a transparent way, making this book a fascinating read Documenting events which happen in own lifetime can be coloured by a myriad of isms This book however keeps at the subject, with no tangents, and no frills The author presents an as is account of what happened, addressing the revolution rather than the after effects or commentary on desirability.At the end, three men stand out as the architects of the most significant government program in Independent India Pranab Mukherjee for his executive sponsorship, Nandan Nilekani for his leadership, and Narendra Modi for his patronage.A must read account of lessons in Indian policy making and using political capital at the right time. Couldn t find a better book to read at a time when Aadhaar and the controversies surrounding it have become a daily affair Right from data privacy to where Aadhaar can be used are debated and legislations framed on this basis.Coming to the book it a well researched book by the author and covers the entire period from when the project was conceptualised and the key players and decision makers involved in making this project stand on its feet as of today The Congress govt under MMS had desperately wanted Aadhaar to succeed at a time when the economy wasn t doing well and cases of corruption against the government had reached an all time high, the mood was of gloom and the state of the Government finances were in a extremely bad shape and the govt had marketed Aadhar as one of the ways to reduce corruption and ensure all benefits reach the intended beneficiaries.The opposition on the other hand from day one weren t too convinced about this project as there were numerous attempts in the past to create a national registry but no one of them took full shape In spite of numerous objections the Congress govt implemented Aadhar under the UIDAI and stated the national roll out in 2010.Once the new government was in place in 2014, the same government that had opposed Aadhar had to now look at thingspragmatically and after consultation with various stake holders including the man behind it Nandan Nilekani the NDA gave Aadhar legal backing with a statutory status and ever since have backed this project.Points to learn from this book is the kind of parliamentary procedures involved in passing and framing laws, the scale of this huge project and the no of use cases it could handle, the importance of getting the right talent be it from the private sector or within the government itself is critical in deciding the success or failure of a project.A worthwhile read of you want to know about one of the biggest biometric citizen identification projects in the world which will be case study in the years to come. It is a proof, that good ideas will see the light in spite of difference between political ideologies The uncertainties, debacles, questions, intense criticism are only to make the ideasharp and effective Aadhaar is the Proof of resilience of the govt, people who want better governance Still lot needs to done, periodic review, authenticity, security, execution have to be made seamless for benefits to be truly democratized Book covers various spectrum s of Idea1 What is Identity 2 How can technology be used to provide Effective Identity 3 How can govt plan to use this identity to target, deliver benefits to deserving, financial inclusion4 What the faults, glitches, process of exclusions in the System 5 How the political dram is played around it 6 Privacy vs Performance Effectiveness vs Equality7 People who contributed for Aadhaar System are refereed prolifically.Shankkar Aiyar, does a very good job at systematic presentation of data, the reference are very valuable source This book will be updated regularly withuptodate progressWhat lacks in the Book 1 There is very meger comparision with existing aadhar kind of systems SSN US, British Unique Id.2 There evolution could give us clues how to will Aadhaar could evolve. Aadhar A Biometric History of India s 12 Digit Revolution is a well researched chronicle of how India built the world s largest identity platform in a short time Shankkar Aiyar, the author has made commendable efforts to compile various facts, he interviewed several people and traced the history of events which lead to the birth of Aadhar Card As evident, there was a dire need to establish a unique identity for every citizen of the country in order to enable smooth functioning The absence of a unique identity made it difficult to track the people who needed help Corruption, loopholes and other obstacles made the development very difficult The book, thus covers up the entire process of developing a unique identity platform, the benefits as well as challenges that it faces today..I like the fact that the things are presented in an objective way It would be an interesting read if you are curious on how the entire system was developed It was definitely a different read for me and I learned so much from it. Ever since it was introduced, Aadhaar has been a widely debated topic in India This book by Shankkar Aiyar is excellent in tracing the history of Aadhaar ever since it was first conceptualized by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, launched by the Manmohan Singh government, and finally taken forward by the current Modi government The book covers the evolution of India s 12 Digit Revolution in a superb manner, complete with all the necessary dates and information about the personnel involved.The book highlights all the challenges Aadhaar has faced till now and finally ends by listing out the concerns regarding the project This book is highly recommended for those who want to knowabout Aadhaar, all the details regarding it Its origin, implementation, and applications supported by it A very informative book that must be read in my opinion. 2.5 5 Not as well written as his earlier book Accidental India A bit dry, written in textbook style withinformation than insights.
New Indian Express,
- Kindle Edition
- 284 pages
- Shankkar Aiyar
- 08 August 2018 Shankkar Aiyar