[Aadhaar debate] The universality of Aadhaar will be tested by tech like e-KYC

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There is a lot of cacophony over the Aadhaar initiative. A section of the population vehemently opposes the initiative while others vociferously throw their weight behind it. Let's find out how Aadhaar card can be of use to the holder.

Here, we will delve into a single aspect of the Aadhaar card, its e-KYC feature.

Electronic know your customer

A recent drive by a new telecom player made the Aadhaar card central to its account opening process; this allowed the operator to activate new sim cards in five minutes flat. A surprisingly short amount of time -- to walk in, grab the card, and to get it activated.

The instant update and activation are made possible by easy and instant access to your vital information via the UIDAI portal.

The possibilities e-KYC opens up in the financial services sector is immense. If we can confirm the KYC for all of our bank accounts, we can narrow down on the accounts with false information, and limit the chances of money laundering.

It is necessary to move towards a more holistic environment where the benefits of technology and economic progress are available to all sections of India's booming populace.

Digital revolution

Aadhaar is key to ushering in the digital revolution envisaged by the government. Keeping politics aside, Aadhaar is more than just a political maneuver; it is a fundamental right of every Indian. Aadhaar can help us streamline our inefficient social security measures and bring accountability to the vast sums spent in supporting a system infamous for being corrupt and ineffectual.

Never before have 1.25 billion people able to hold a single, unique identifier, valid across the 29 states and union territories of this vast nation. India has been able to pull it off. In fact, for the first time, many Indians hold a document in their hands that announces them as citizens. These are people who have never been to school or college, received a driver's license, let alone a passport. Aadhaar is a matter of importance, especially to such people.

The universality of Aadhaar will be tested and validated by the emergence of new technologies like e-KYC. To imagine the possibilities of e-KYC becoming the norm in banking, financial services, household services, insurance claims, et al. makes one's head spin around!

It goes without saying that the data integrity of Aadhaar must be sacrosanct. If the Aadhaar is to become the mainstay of all Indians, it is of importance that the government undertake every possible initiative to hold the information of its citizens under the strictest electronic lock and key. Doing so will enhance the trust and reliability factor.

We need to open up our mind to the possibilities Aadhaar brings to the life of the common man. It is time for the rural Indian to benefit from the millions of lines of coding we Indians do!

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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