South Asia and Beyond

Aadhaar Goes Global

NEW DELHI: Little over a week ago Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP), housed in the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bangalore, inked a partnership with the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Sierra Leone, to build and launch a pilot program for a national digital ID system—similar to Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identity accorded to 1.3 billion Indians. So far, including all the pilots and actual rollouts, nine countries are keen to implement a national identity project driven by MOSIP. Effectively, India’s first public digital good, Aadhaar, is now crossing borders and acquiring international legitimacy. Why are countries so keen to adapt an Aadhaar equivalent in their countries? How will MOSIP guarantee privacy and respect sovereign jurisdiction over individual data? And what does this mean for India’s soft power capability, traditionally defined around cuisine, Bollywood, music, and art? To understand why and more we spoke to Professor S Rajagopalan, President, MOSIP.

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