Mr. Kiran Kumar Gowd, PhD Research Scholar in the Department of Political Science has been selected for the Summer Research Fellowship offered by the Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI), Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. The DIRI Summer Fellowship is intended to address research issues of theoretical and practical aspects of applications and implications of the Indian Digital Identity System – Aadhaar, especially on the relevance of digital identity in welfare programmes, banking and financial inclusion, challenges in large-scale adoption of new technology, privacy and data security aspects of digital identity.

The fellowship is offered to the students and research scholars of both Indian and Global Universities. Kiran Kumar is working on the ‘Network Governance and Public Service Delivery’ as a part of his doctoral thesis under Prof. I. Ramabrahamam. During his three months fellowship period, he will be working on the issues related to Aadhaar and Public Service Delivery (PDS) with focus on critical aspects like effective service delivery and citizen satisfaction, role of civil society and corporate, biometric authentication, and connectivity.

DIRI is a targeted and multidisciplinary research initiative to explore key questions around digital identity systems with a focus on Aadhaar. India has the world’s largest biometric enabled digital identity system in use and in its present form, Aadhaar presents unique challenges as well as represents enormous potential to address existing challenges of democratic governance, economic development, social justice, and environment sustainability, with deep implications for India and the world. The Government of India has been working on making Aadhaar an integral part of welfare programmes to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. The private sector applications have enabled new business models with the objective of inclusive growth and increased efficiency in benefit transfers.

The Digital Identity Research Initiative has three goals:

· Production of high quality and timely research on digital identity, with a focus on Aadhaar, to address critical knowledge gaps.

· Targeted engagement with relevant stakeholders to ensure that research results can inform policy and strategy decisions, while the findings are effectively disseminated to ensure easy and wider access.

· Build a global research ecosystem for Digital Identity, with a focus on India.