ABSTRACT. India has no equivalent of a social security number and more than 400 millions of poor suffer in the hands of the existing corrupt system because they are unable to participate in the formal economy. In a nation that is struggling to meet basic challenges of poverty, hunger, poor infrastructure and corruption, the government of India’s Unique Identification (UID) project appears to be a striking outlier as it is building the world’s biggest and advanced biometric based database of identities for 1.2 billion people at a remarkable pace. Using the theoretical lens of institutional voids, this paper describes the case of UID project and explores its potential in terms of filling institutional voids and enabling inclusive innovation in India. pp. 38–48

Keywords: inclusive innovation; innovation; institutional voids; poverty; developing country; social security

How to cite: Yadav, Vanita (2014), “Unique Identification Project for 1.2 Billion People in India: Can It Fill Institutional Voids and Enable ‘Inclusive’ Innovation?,” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 6(1): 38–48.

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Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA;
South Asia Institute, Harvard University

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