Open Minds 2017: Public Square

Nandan Nilekani, Technocrat and Author

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Identity Guru

He is the rudder steering India in a digitally intensive world. The architect of Aadhaar set out to tackle two very difficult problems: how to improve living standards and streamline government services.

“Nandan is a selfless problem solver. He provides a fresh vision for what modern India can be, leapfrogging traditional discourse” - Viral B Shah, co-creator, Julia programming language, and co-author of Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations with Nilekani

A decade later, 1.1 billion Indians have registered, making it the largest biometric project in the world. And Aadhaar continues to evolve. It is the backbone of Narendra Modi’s Digital India project, enabling eKYC and cashless payments through Aadhaar Pay. Post demonetisation, as India is propelled towards a digital economy, Nilekani has been advocating digital literacy, advanced data protection, and security and privacy legislation. As India’s digital trust and consent architecture matures, his role will come into sharper focus more than ever before.

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