Aadhaar & Financial Inclusion
Aadhaar is an ambitious project to provide a single, unique identification document or number that captures all the details, including demographic and biometric information, of every resident Indian individual. As of end March 2017, the Aadhaar database is the world’s largest biometric ID system with 1.13 billion enrolled members.
Why is Aadhaar so important? The clue is in its name: Aadhaar, or foundation, is the base on which the future of India will be built.
Currently, despite its large population, India’s GDP is not as high as it could be. But everyone knows India is a cash-based society, which means there is a vast amount of cash money that isn’t accounted for in the GDP yet. The 2016 banknote demonetisation was a dramatic effort to crack down on the use illicit and counterfeit cash, but more can be done.
With Aadhaar, India will be able to provide social and financial inclusion for everyone. With a biometrically secure identification in the form of the Aadhaar card, people from all walks of life will now have access to a whole new array of services. From applying for scholarships and government aid to opening bank accounts and using ATMs, so many possibilities are now made accessible to people who couldn’t use these services before.
Aadhaar will also enable the tracking of cash based transactions, enabling relevant bodies to get a more accurate GDP assessment. An increased GDP brings with it a corresponding increase in quality of life, and millions upon millions of Indians will benefit from Aadhaar and the provision of social and financial services it brings.
With this push towards becoming a digital economy, India is poised on the brink of stunning growth.