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
The two videos provide an exhaustive overview of the Nandyal region of Kurnool district. The socio-economic conditions, labour market conditions, savings behaviour as well as the role of dairy activities in generating surplus in the village are some of the highlights. The population of the village is approximately 4000 (1800 voters) and is the home to more than 800 cows and buffaloes. It supplies about 4000 litres of milk daily to Kurnool dairy. The large presence of cows and buffaloes has increased incomes of the people. More than 200 households supply milk to the dairy and in the last one year the dairy is stated to have distributed a bonus of nearly Rs.25 lakhs to the village. The surplus money is usually lent out to others, invested in housing, to buy gold (a recent trend) or invested in various schemes run by the public sector Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). He states that at least 50% of the people in Alluru had LIC policies and a large number have used the surplus that they generated from dairy and agriculture for buying motorcycles.