India's Aadhaar program wins praises from World Bank: Report
As many countries around the world are looking to replicate India's Aadhaar system, the program to provide unique identification to every Indian has won praises from World Bank.
Talking about the identification programs by various countries, Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, said, "The system in India is the most sophisticated that I’ve seen," according to a report by the Bloomberg.
"It’s the basis for all kinds of connections that involve things like financial transactions. It could be good for the world if this became widely adopted," he said about the Aadhaar program which is being widely used for subsidy transfers.
Subsidy transfers linked to Aadhaar has led the exchequer to save Rs 49,000 crore during the last two-and-half years, the government has claimed.
Romer further said, "Other countries are also looking at similar programs, but research shows it’s best to develop one standardized system so people can carry their IDs wherever they go in the world."
The World Bank had also mentioned Aadhaar in its World Development Report 2016 saying "a digital identification system such as India’s Aadhaar, by overcoming complex information problems, helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups."
Even as the privacy concerns are being raised in India, many countries are looking to replicate the model worldwide.
Talking to Bloomberg, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan Nilekani said, "Other governments are already interested in its potential. Countries such as Tanzania, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have visited India to talk about the system."
Concerns have often been raised over the misuse of biometrics data collected under Aadhaar. Recently, the UIDAI issued a long rebuttal to reports of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics.
There has been no incident of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics leading to identity theft and financial loss during the last five years when more than 400 crore Aadhaar authentication transactions have taken place, the UIDAI said adding that the Aadhaar-based authentication is "fully safe and secure".
UIDAI claimed that it uses one of world's most advanced encryption technologies in transmission and storage of data.