India at Davos: Digital diplomacy dialogue may include Aadhaar export to other nations

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Neighbourhood Technology Desk/Avi Arya: World leaders gather at the freezing Swiss Alps resort of Davos for the four-day World Economic Forum summit that begins on January 23, the presence of India’s Prime Minister, and six of his Cabinet colleagues and other Indian think tanks, is set to heat things up a bit.

Since the past year, there have been media reports suggest that several countries have expressed interest in deploying Aadhaar and software ecosystem around it called India Stack, that allows developers and startups to build software for the delivery of services, including digital financial transactions.

Economics of data

According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that is responsible for issuing the unique identity or Aadhaar based on an individual’s biometrics, till date, 1.12 billion Aadhaar numbers have been assigned to 88.2 percent of the Indian population.

Risk of digital colonisation

Interestingly, in its annual 2017 letter, Ispirt states that “a consensus is rapidly building that without such public platforms, digital colonisation is a significant risk. China has mitigated this risk by creating its national winners. The US is somewhat protected as it has regulatory oversight on its winners.

Stitching up a fractured world

Showing confidence in the India Story, Morgan Stanley in its recent report, ‘India’s Digital Leap, The Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity,’ states that “India’s digitisation drive has raised our confidence in our long-term growth estimates.

 

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