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The Aadhaar Effect: Why the World’s Largest Identity Project Matters Hardcover – 24 Oct 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product description


Aadhaar is the largest and most ambitious IT project ever undertaken anywhere in the world. It has the potential to improve the lives—and compromise the privacy—of a billion people. N.S. Ramnath and Charles Assisi did an excellent job of documenting its progression. Through extensive research and interviews, they bring Aadhaar’s story to life and offer important lessons to policy makers all over the world. (Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and Carnegie Mellon University and author of The Driver in the Driverless Car)

This book on Project Aadhaar is an urgent one for those in leadership roles across the world because the future is happening faster. Yet, there is no data about the future, and leaders can only imagine it. They must adapt constantly, set audacious goals in a fuzzy environment, deploy the right people, conserve resources, and use instinct as well. (Ram Charan, global advisor to CEOs and boards, author of numerous books, and articles in Harvard Business Review and Fortune magazine)

Here’s a much-needed, clear-eyed, engaging description of the Aadhaar effect, displaying the entrepreneurial team’s chutzpah, ambition, partnership ethos, efficiency, and desire to create public goods at scale. We should celebrate Aadhaar’s numerous positives, but also embrace and deal with the flux it has triggered in society. (Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University)

India’s overwhelming human capital coexists in an underwhelming community, caged by the state. Aadhaar attempts an audacious breakout. Its outcomes, ground-breaking or otherwise, will echo. Ramnath and Charles string people, events, and ideas with scholarly storytelling. A tour de force. (Sanjeev Aga, former CEO of Idea Cellular and board member at leading companies and non-profits.)

As a nation rebuilt its 21st century digital DNA with Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric database, journalists Ramnath and Assisi offer a fascinating ringside view, warts and all, of an incredible achievement that is India’s new tryst with destiny. (Raju Narisetti, Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism)

Ramnath and Charles work through a complex maze and come out with an engaging narrative. This book is a great sense-making exercise on India’s greatest information technology tool created so far. (Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority)

The Aadhaar Effect is a thorough and provocative analysis of one of the most ambitious efforts of our time. Project Aadhaar could well serve as a blueprint for other countries getting ready for the digital economy. (Sangeet Paul Choudary, Member of the World Economic Forum's Council on Platforms and Systems; co-author of Platform Revolution and author of Platform Scale)

The Aadhaar Effect is a lovely book. It is an “all things considered” account of the widespread changes induced in the Indian economy by Aadhaar—a biometric means for identifying every person, as well as an “all points of view are respected” explanation of the huge controversies it has generated. Very readable and very educative. (Arun Maira, former Member, Planning Commission of India; former Chairman, Boston Consulting Group, India)

Using the Lego block as a metaphor, Charles and Ramnath bring to life the evolution of Aadhaar, from being just a technology tool to a change catalyst across governments, businesses and the social sector. Clearly, much research has gone to present the potential benefits and accompanying risks. It helps readers form an informed opinion about the most important digital project of our times. (Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico)

Two decades from now, India will be in a different league. Looking back then, Aadhaar will be seen as a marker of significant shifts in India’s journey towards creating accountability, governance and digital infrastructure. Whatever form Aadhaar takes, The Aadhaar Effect is an essential chronicle that documents the twists, turns, possibilities and pitfalls of the unique transformation a nation is witnessing. (Haresh Chawla, Partner, True North)

About the Author

N.S. Ramnath is a senior writer at Founding Fuel Publishing, a digitally led media and learning platform. His main interests lie in technology, business, and society, and how they interact and influence one another. A Polestar 2017 award winner, he writes a regular column on disruptive technologies and takes stock of news and perspectives from across the world. He is also involved with the data start-up How India Lives. Prior to Founding Fuel, Ramnath was with Forbes India and Economic Times as a business journalist. He has also written for The Hindu, Quartz, and Scroll. Charles Assisi is a co-founder at Founding Fuel. He writes a column in the business daily Mint. He was the managing editor at Forbes India and the founding editor of Forbes Life India. Charles earned his spurs when he introduced CHIP, the Munich-based technology magazine, to India. This assignment led him to work in newsrooms in Europe and other parts of Asia. Subsequently, the Times of India invited him to take over as its national technology editor and later as its national business editor. His work earned Charles the Polestar and Madhu Valluri Awards.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (24 October 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199487618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199487615
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 2.3 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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