Aadhaar focus of four Yoti Fellowship Programme proposals

Four of the 54 proposals shortlisted by Yoti for its Yoti Fellowship Programme are from India, and propose research on and enhancements to the country’s national Aadhaar biometric identity system, Dataquest India reports.

The applications consider the potential of Aadhaar beyond Direct Benefits Transfers, an alternative digital KYC solution based on Aadhaar, the perceptions of digital identity in diverse urban and rural populations, and the possibility of a holistic identity ecosystem based on Aadhaar, according to Dataquest India.

“We live in an age where we often find an over-emphasis on high-tech solutions and innovation, often driven from the top-down and often driven by technology from the ‘outside’. Local voices, opinions or concerns can get drowned out yet often they bring context, understanding, and ideas, which may well be better suited to the problem at hand,” says Jaideep Prabhu, Nehru Professor of Indian Business at Judge Business School at Cambridge University. “I agreed to be a part of the Selection Panel on the Yoti Digital Identity Fellowship Programme for these very reasons. India has become something of a living lab for digital identity, but despite the overwhelming success of biometrically capturing over a billion people, problems remain. The proposals from India are particularly exciting because they bring with them the potential to explore new lines of thinking, and an understanding of areas previously overlooked.”

“What we’re missing is an understanding of why people might want a digital identity, what they know about digital identity, their concerns and what tools and approaches might be missing in their local context,” adds Ken Banks, head of social impact at Yoti. “Without a fuller understanding of these bottom-up issues, we have little chance of developing the most useful and appropriate identity solutions. Our Fellowship Programme is designed to address these very issues.”

Yoti received a total of 120 applications for its Fellowship Programme, which aims to support individuals and organizations working on identity issues in the global South.

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