Welfare needs Aadhaar like a Fish needs a Bicycle

Tuesday Seminar
Speaker: 
Reetika Khera
Date and Time: 
Tue, 04/10/2016 - 12:00am
Schedule: 
02:57 PM to 04:27 PM
Venue: 
HSS Committee Room (MS 610)

Abstract

The Unique Identification (UID) card/number, or aadhaar, project aims to provide a unique number to all residents. Initiated during the term of UPA-II, it was packaged as a welfare project, enabling greater inclusiveness, less corruption, portability etc. In the first part of this talk, I debunk the early welfare claims of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), set up to implement the project, and related economic issues. I then broaden the scope of the talk to outline the other disturbing aspects of the project which need further research -- including threats to privacy, the creation of a surveillance infrastructure, and legal weaknesses. Finally, I highlight some of the wider concerns with respect to research and the practice of democracy that have arisen from my research on Aadhaar.

Bio

Reetika Khera is Sulaiman Mutawa Associate Chair Professor of Economics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi. She is a development economist and the primary focus of her work is on social policy in India.