Govt launches `Aadhaar 2.0' to usher in next era digital identity, smart governance

Union minister of electronics and information technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday inaugurated a 3-day workshop titled ‘Aadhaar 2.0, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, ushering in the next era of digital identity and smart governance.’  

Several dignitaries, including Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and Dr. Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI graced the occasion with active participation from Central and State Ministries.
Addressing the gathering, the IT minister said that Aadhaar has made a fundamental difference in the lives of millions of people, especially those who are at the bottom of the pyramid. It has made a significant difference the way government programmes are administered. 
Giving a direction to the workshop, Vaishnaw mentioned three thoughts/ideas that can be deliberated upon. First, he said, is the issue of having international standards for identification considering the increasing digitisation of the globe. Another issue is about making Aadhaar services more accessible by building technologies and hardware systems around it. Further, on the strengths of the privacy and legal framework of Aadhaar, the minister said the legal framework is settled with the Supreme Court judgement on the Aadhaar Act, which, he said, will be further strengthened by Data Privacy Bill.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary, ministry of electronics and IT, said that Aadhaar has given identity to a large number of people who did not have any identity earlier. Aadhaar has shown that a digital identity can be used in several smarter ways than physical proofs of identity. It has been used in a range of services and has helped in bringing financial inclusion, expanding broadband and telecom services coverage and in direct benefit transfers to the bank account of citizens in a transparent manner.
In a virtual message played during the inaugural event, Nandan Nilekani, former chairman, UIDAI, shared his ideas and message on Aadhaar related aspects. Talking from futuristic perspective,  Nilekani said Aadhaar can be used to transfer electricity subsidies directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries; for direct benefit transfers to forest residents-for preserving biodiversity and forests; and for portability of social security systems.
Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI, said the Aadhaar 2.0 Workshop is an introspection-cum-exploratory endeavor by UIDAI to analyse the reach of digital Identity in major reforms and schemes launched by the government. It also aims to look into various futuristic aspects of digital identity to achieve universal inclusion - both social as well as financial.
The 3-days event shall provide an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and information, promote insightful debates and share experiences about developments and initiatives around the world around digital identity among various stakeholders including the government and its agencies, private sector entities utilising authentication and e-KYC services, leading think-tanks and SMEs from international diaspora as also organizations in social and regulatory space.
The workshop will also be telecast live on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook handles of UIDAI.
The theme of the workshop `Aadhaar 2.0 - Ushering the Next Era of Digital Identity and Smart Governance’ builds on Aadhaar as a trusted ID platform and method for delivering innovative digital solutions. It also focuses on strategies of Aadhaar that can strengthen and simplify its service delivery. Along with it, the workshop also delivers insights of evolvements and transition of digital ID. It is also an opportunity to focus on rebuilding more inclusive systems that allow society as a whole to be more resilient to future shocks, and safety.
The workshop is divided into eight sessions for deliberations on various topics which are:
Strengthening and Simplifying Enrolment and Update Ecosystem: The key takeaways for this session are changes required in Aadhaar enrolment and updated service delivery to provide a frictionless experience for the residents; improving enrolments on focus areas and how Aadhaar can continue itself as one of the main enablers of identity verification in both on-line as well as offline mode in light of the social welfare, innovation and knowledge.
Digital Identity - A Key to Inclusive Growth and Empowerment: The discussion on how to usher in the next phase of digital enablement and empowerment for the masses will be driven by the creation and development of applications that move government services closer to people - individuals and other units. This will improve governance with a newly digitised model of identification, accountability and transparency.
Expanding the use of Aadhaar to boost digital economy: The discussion will focus on what Aadhaar can deliver on e-gov; e-commerce and e-banking and finance in particular.
Deploying Trusted Digital Identities - Information Security: This session will explore the best way to ensure that all Aadhar ecosystem partners also follow the best security practices.  Deliberations on how to deter, detect and prosecute fraud in Aadhaar enrolment and authentication.
Aadhaar as an International Digital Identity Standard: Aadhaar as a framework for creating international standards for digital identity, a roadmap for international digital identity standards and across borders interoperability. The session will also talk about ensuring security and privacy, and framework for data sharing amongst countries.
Legal aspects of data security and privacy: The legal session would dwell on assessing the existing legal framework with respect to data security and privacy while delivering the identity services and could also explore the scope for improvement in the policy gap, technological gap if any.
Smart devices as universal authenticator: The discussion will be around smart phone usage trend and key developments likely to happen in the telecom domain, biometrics for all - how face authentication can be leveraged through smartphones, use smart phone for finger print capture authentication - Challenges and Way Forward. The discussion focus would be on Voice Authentication, Use FIDO Standards for Aadhaar Usage - Platform for Password-less authentication for public services and industry view on the adaptation of Aadhaar technologies and making it available for the public.
Adoption of New Technologies in Aadhaar: Discussions on recent advances in biometrics and their improvement using Artificial Intelligence and, especially, deep learning techniques. The session will also look at blockchain-based technologies and applications as well as the impact of Aadhaar and these new technologies in the banking sector.