3rd OCTOBER, 2023

by | Oct 5, 2023

Demystifying Aadhaar: Addressing Concerns and Defining Decentralised Identity

In recent times, Moody’s Investors Service raised concerns about India’s Aadhaar program, the world’s largest digital ID system. In this blog, we’ll dissect these concerns while shedding light on the concept of decentralised identity (DID) and how it differs from Aadhaar.

  1. Aadhaar Overview:
  • Aadhaar assigns 12-digit unique identification numbers to over 1.2 billion Indian residents.
  • It combines biometric and demographic information for identity verification.
  • Services include fingerprint, iris scans, and One-Time Passcodes for authentication.
  • Regulated by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).
  1. Moody’s Concerns:
  • Privacy and Security Scrutiny: Moody’s notes that Aadhaar, like Sam Altman’s Worldcoin, has drawn scrutiny regarding privacy and security due to its scale and innovative nature.
  • Authorization Challenges: Moody’s highlights the “burden of establishing authorization” as a challenge faced by the Aadhaar system.
  • Biometric Reliability: Concerns are raised about the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for manual labourers in hot, humid climates. However, no evidence is provided.
Moody’s Investors Service
– Assessing creditworthiness of governments, corporations, and financial institutions.
– Providing credit ratings and research to inform investment and lending decisions.
– Influencing interest rates, market confidence, and government policies.
– Guides investors by indicating investment safety and risk.
– Influences interest rates for borrowers.
– Provides market transparency and confidence.
– Affects international financial markets.
– Informs government policies and economic decisions.
– Assists entities in managing credit risk.
Specific Report:
– Raised concerns about security and privacy in biometric technologies, specifically related to India’s Aadhaar program.
– Can impact international perceptions of Aadhaar’s stability and security.
  1. Decentralized Identity (DID):
  • Ownership and Control: DID allows individuals to own and control their digital credentials.
  • Decentralisation: Verification of identity occurs on a decentralised digital ledger (e.g., blockchain), not relying on a single, centralised institution.
  • Enhanced Privacy: DID systems offer a more robust and private avenue for managing digital identities.
  1. Key Differences Between Aadhaar and DID:
  • Centralization vs. Decentralisation: Aadhaar relies on a central authority (UIDAI), while DID operates on a decentralised ledger.
  • Credential Ownership: In DID, individuals own their data; Aadhaar stores data centrally.
  • Verification Methods: Aadhaar uses biometrics and demographic data, while DID leverages blockchain technology for verification.
  • Privacy: DID offers enhanced privacy; Aadhaar has faced privacy concerns.
  1. Responses to Moody’s Concerns:
  • Privacy and Security Measures: The UIDAI has implemented state-of-the-art security solutions, encryption, and adheres to international standards.
  • Service Denials: Seeding Aadhaar into databases like MGNREGS doesn’t always require biometric authentication. Payments are often made without biometrics.
  • Climate Considerations: Contactless biometric methods like face and iris authentication are available, reducing climate-related issues.
  1. International Recognition:
  • Numerous international agencies, including the IMF and World Bank, have praised Aadhaar for its role in financial inclusion.
  • The G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion has recognized Aadhaar’s impact in increasing ownership of transaction accounts.

In conclusion, while Moody’s has raised valid concerns about Aadhaar, it’s important to consider the substantial benefits it has brought to India’s digital infrastructure. Additionally, decentralized identity systems like DID hold promise for enhancing privacy and security in digital identity management. Balancing innovation and security remains a critical challenge in the digital age.

Source: Hindustan Times

Dr. Jitendra Singh Launches Innovative Grievance and Swachhata Campaigns

In a significant move towards efficient governance, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State, launched several transformative initiatives aimed at enhancing government-citizen interactions and improving administrative processes.

Intelligent Grievance Monitoring System (IGMS) 2.0:

  • Implemented by IIT Kanpur in collaboration with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
  • Improves DARPG’s CPGRAMS portal with Artificial Intelligence capabilities.
  • Provides instant tabular analysis of grievances filed and disposed, state-wise and district-wise data, and ministry-wise statistics.
  • Aids officials in identifying the root causes of grievances.
  • Facilitates the creation of draft letters for selected schemes/ministries, expediting grievance redressal.

Citizen-Centric Governance:

  • Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasised the importance of grievance redressal for government accountability and citizen-centric governance.
  • Introduced a more robust human interface mechanism, including counselling post-resolution of grievances.
  • CPGRAMS portal made available in 22 scheduled languages to benefit a wider audience.
  • Emphasised the need to integrate state PG portals and other government platforms with CPGRAMS.

Swachhata Special Campaign 3.0:

  • Launched with the aim of promoting cleanliness and efficient utilisation of office space.
  • Resulted in the clearance of close to 90 lakh square feet of office space and revenue generation of Rs. 370.83 crores from disposal of scrap.
  • Enhanced the eOffice work culture, with over 90% of file work now conducted online.
  • Compendium of 300 Best Practices introduced to be implemented by all government ministries and departments.

Achievements and Reforms:

  • Average disposal time of public grievances by Central Ministries & Departments reduced by almost 50%, from 32 days in 2021 to 18 days in 2023.
  • DARPG achieved a completely fileless office with all communication transferred to the eOffice portal.

Special Campaign 3.0:

  • Commencing on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, the campaign focuses on field/outstation offices, in addition to ministries/departments.
  • Aligns with the government’s ‘Jan Andolan’ (People’s Movement) approach.
  • Compendium of 300 Best Practices to be widely implemented, highlighting a ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Science’ approach.

These initiatives represent a significant step towards more efficient and responsive governance, embracing technology and best practices to better serve the needs of the citizens.

Source: PIB

Celebrating Mathematical Excellence: The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

Mathematics is a field that knows no boundaries, and exceptional minds from around the world continue to push its limits, making groundbreaking discoveries and contributions. One such remarkable mathematician who has left an indelible mark on the mathematical community is Ruixiang Zhang. He has been awarded the prestigious 2023 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize in recognition of his outstanding work in mathematics. Let’s delve into the significance of this award and explore the legacy of this remarkable mathematician.

  1. Ruixiang Zhang: A Mathematical Trailblazer Dr. Ruixiang Zhang, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, has made exceptional contributions to various branches of mathematics. His areas of expertise include:
  • Analytic number theory
  • Combinatorics
  • Euclidean harmonic analysis
  • Geometry

Dr. Zhang’s work represents the epitome of mathematical innovation, and his dedication to advancing the field is truly commendable.

  1. The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize: Honoring Excellence The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, instituted in 2005, is a prestigious award presented annually by SASTRA University in Tamil Nadu. This award is dedicated to the memory of the legendary mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who made extraordinary contributions to mathematics at a young age.

III. Key Details of the Prize

  • Objective: Recognizing mathematicians under the age of 32 who excel in areas influenced by Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • Date of Presentation: December 22, Ramanujan’s birth anniversary.
  • Location: The prize is presented at SASTRA University’s center in Kumbakonam, the hometown of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • Award: The prize includes a cash award of $10,000 and a citation.
  • International Recognition: Over the years, the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize has gained global acclaim for celebrating mathematical brilliance.
  1. Previous Recipients: A Legacy of Excellence (Continued)
  • Manjul Bhargava: An Indian-American mathematician, Manjul Bhargava was awarded the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for his exceptional work in number theory. He later went on to receive the Fields Medal, one of the highest honors in mathematics.
  • Akshay Venkatesh: Akshay Venkatesh, an Australian-American mathematician, is another distinguished recipient. His contributions to number theory and representation theory have significantly advanced mathematical knowledge.

The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize not only recognizes outstanding mathematicians but also serves as a platform to encourage and celebrate mathematical excellence worldwide. By honoring young mathematicians who have made significant strides early in their careers, the prize continues to inspire the next generation of mathematical geniuses.


Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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