World Bank praises India’s Aadhaar progress
17 March 2017 15:35 GMT

The World Bank has said India’s biometrics-backed unique identity system could be used by other countries as a model for their identity plans.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, said the system was complex and had great potential across application.

"The system in India is the most sophisticated that I’ve seen," Romer said. "It’s the basis for all kinds of connections that involve things like financial transactions. It could be good for the world if this became widely adopted."

The newspaper noted that Nandan Nilekani, billionaire co-founder of the technology company Infosys Ltd. and former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, has had interest in similar systems from countries including Tanzania, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"They’re all keen to see how they can replicate this in their countries," Nilekani told Bloomberg by phone. "This is a great example of how governments can build the most modern digital public infrastructure, and make it available as a public good to everybody."

In its World Development Report 2016, the World Bank said "a digital identification system such as India’s Aadhaar, by overcoming complex information problems, helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups."