Creating machine readable men

Janaki Srinivasan, Aditya Johri
2013 Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development Full Papers - ICTD '13 - volume 1  
Mega infrastructure projects require considerable financial and human resources. Their costs are hard to justify, especially in low-income countries, and their sustenance depends to a large extent on their success in gaining political and public legitimacy. This paper examines one such project in India -'Aadhaar'developed to provide biometric-based identification for the 1.2 billion residents of India. Since its initiation in 2010, the project has issued more than 320 million identification
more » ... identification numbers. Aadhaar is India's first state-sponsored e-infrastructure mega project and is unique for its survival in the face of severe opposition. We argue that the project survived because its proponents were able to legitimize it by showcasing its promise of poverty reduction and financial inclusion, and by making it a metaphor for progress and development. We compare the project with two mega projects undertaken earlier in India -the railroad network and a dam project -and find that Aadhaar's digital infrastructure made the use of symbolism harder, thereby requiring different strategies to gain legitimacy.
doi:10.1145/2516604.2516625 dblp:conf/ictd/SrinivasanJ13 fatcat:lkigqncpybaoro6nr3fju3zehi