The Decisions Behind Aadhaar's Success Story


The Decisions Behind Aadhaar's Success Story with Tanuj Bhojwani

The decisions behind Aadhaar’s success story revolves around big and small strategies. According to Findex data from 2014, only 53 percent of adult Indians had bank accounts. By 2017, that number had jumped to 80 percent and traditionally excluded demographics shared in these gains. Women saw a 30 percent increase in account ownership, and the poorest households saw a 40 percent increase. The remarkable addition of 300 million accounts in just a few years can be largely contributed to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme which mandates that every household has at least one bank account and the biometric ID Aadhaar which grants residents a unique identification number that can be used to access financial services. First available in 2010, Aadhaar is now used by 1.2 billion Indians.

However, beyond increasing the number of bank accounts, Aadhaar has become an integral component of several flagship government programs including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the public distribution system (PDS), two of India’s largest welfare programs. The biometric authentication helps ensure that the gains are delivered to actual beneficiaries, instead of fake or duplicates, thereby cutting food shortages. Currently, around 90 percent of all welfare recipients receive their government benefits through Aadhaar.

In this video, Tanuj Bhojwani, a representative for the iSpirit Foundation, shares his thoughts on the big and small decisions that made Aadhaar a success and why the user-experience for welfare beneficiaries has improved through the adoption of the biometric ID. Bhojwani recently participated in the “Identifying Practical Solutions to Accelerating Digital Financial Services for Inclusive Economies” conference where he shared the key lessons learned from India’s successful implementation of Aadhaar to key regulators from Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria. To learn more about the conference click here