The Identity project emerged as a result of our dissatisfaction at the nature of the debate that was emerging on the area of digital governance in India.
Over the past three years we have conducted numerous field visits in seven Indian states.These visits include numerous video-conversations, some short and others very long, with a diverse number of those who were involved with this entire process of participating in the emergence of a digital ecosystem of governance. These are interviews with people being enrolled into the Aadhaar programme, with district-level Panchayat and other officials, with numerous State government bureaucrats, with private enrollment representatives, representatives of various governmental services, with operators and other members of this digital workforce. Conversations are often long, spontaneous and deliberately unstructured: and the focus is mainly on a vérité style using amateur video.
Some key issues that we shortlisted for detailed inquiry were issues of migrants, both domestic and across international borders, homelessness in cities, and the financially excluded. Each of these areas was discussed in considerable detail at major public consultations held in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore, in partnership with the CSDS, the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, and the Urban Research and Policy Programme Initiative of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. All videos of all presentations made at these events are also available here.
CSCS also has an extensive text archives of material on the field as a whole, available on http://eprints.cscsarchives.org
A Lady at the enrolment centre runs a resident through the enrolment form, and helps him through while he fills in his details. The filling in of email and phone numbers is optional, while other KYR data is mandatory. The registrar at the centre also tells us about the introducer structure; anybody with a UID can introduce anyone else who doesn’t have all the necessary documents.
We then see enrolment process of a resident from the time he enters the room where biometrics are recorded. The Lady at the centre explains that the system gives four tries to read the biometrics, (Minimum 60% of biometrics read) after which they have to start from scratch. Those who do not have fingers are “except” from fingerprint reading, their photograph is recorded and it is put alongside the supervisor’s signature. She says that many people are exercising their right to not link their UID to their PAN and bank details.