Conceived as an ambitious project to provide universal identity to more than one billion Indians, Aadhaar is unparalleled in its reach and aspiration. An important objective of the project has been to improve the ability of the Indian state to provide efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of welfare services to a large number of residents who depend on it. In the years following Aadhaar’s launch, its use has expanded to private service provision, including mobile communication and banking services, while raising questions around data privacy, security, and more broadly around what it means for residents of India to have a digital identity.
This 10 year anniversary report has a focus on identifying which aspects of Aadhaar are working and are not working, to what extent and for whom. The research was conducted so that a broad cross-section of Indian residents have a voice in the national discourse on Aadhaar.