New State of Aadhaar report gives insights on governance


The State of Aadhaar Annual Report 2017-18 from IDinsight was released last month, bringing much needed objectivity to the Aadhaar debates. The most striking takeaway from the report is that exclusion from food rations in the Public Distribution System due to Aadhaar-related factors is significant but is lower than non-Aadhaar factors. While the report relies on surveys from rural populations in three states, for a country of India’s size and heterogeneity, across state government capacities as well, the insight on exclusion calls for an appropriate response. We need an institutional mechanism that will not only put in correct processes, but that will ensure hand holding across all levels of the administrative chain till the beneficiary. We need more stringent monitoring and supervision, with careful gleaning of the numerous glitches that are bound to continuously emerge. India has begun well but transforming the subsidy regime is a process that will take time, its success depends on honestly addressing the challenges as they arise.

Even as we await the Srikrishna Committee report on data protection and privacy, India Post Payments Bank has become the first bank to give the customer an option to delink Aadhaar from the bank account, seeks consent from the customer to allow Aadhaar seeding of the account and mapping this with NPCI to enable the direct benefit transfers (See Money Life, 28th May 2018). It is heartening to see a government owned entity break from the pack and lead with new consent architecture.

The digital payments space in India is also heating up for competition as WhatsApp payments launch in June; the government is working on ensuring compliance with RBI rules on data storage and sharing. Meanwhile, NPCI is also reportedly working on broadening its shareholding, bringing payments banks and small finance banks on board, a recommendation made by the Watal Committee on Digital Payments in December 2016.


Excellence in Payments - Shri B. P. Kanungo, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India- May 29, 2018
• ICFI Blog: Update on the new kids on the block - payments banks
• India’s Agent Network for Financial Inclusion - Indicus Policy Brief February2018
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Progress Report
RBI Electronic Payment Systems – Data


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Basic Regulatory Enablers for Digital Financial Services, CGAP, 24 May 2018

Country Focus Note - China, MicroSave, 23 May 2018

Country Focus Note - Bangladesh, MicroSave, 22 May 2018

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: Building Smiles, Changing Lives, MicroSave, 11 May 2018


Editor: The Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion was launched in 2011 to distil and disseminate information on accelerating the poor’s access to high-quality financial services. ©Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 4thJune 2018.

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