Uplink from Mumbai,India
Reporting on the massive digital endeavor underway in one of the most populous countries in the world. Postulating at a macro level, it seems the world is a product of one term – “Connectivity”.
The earliest known form of connectivity can be found in the origin of trade, as early as, 3000B.C. Trade between countries formed a backbone of connections that were traversed to exchange goods and food, thus connecting people to cultures.
Following this, came the earliest roads of Persia and Babylon, that were adopted over the centuries into a geographical network, thus connecting people to places. The industrial
Revolution introduced a labyrinth of rail routes, which still continue to grow and connect people to manufacturing and distribution. First commercial air travel in the early 20th century, brought those connections to the skies.
The internet was the birthplace of people connecting to machines (servers) and social network applications, eventually connected people to other individuals. We are now on the impending cusp of connecting all mundane things (IoT) to the internet, ultimately creating a connection to everything (IoE). Even despite this double exponential growth in connectivity over the past fifty centuries, a country like India, that contributes 20% of the world’s population, has immense opportunities to provide basic, essential connectivity, in terms of both physical and digital infrastructures. This is being achieved every day in India, through ambitious technological and political policies, aiding the creation of building blocks, such as the U.S. social security number equivalent called “Aadhaar”(foundation). In fact, Aadhaar raises the bar on individual identification with IRIS detection technologies and creating a uniform, collaborative, technical platform for connecting various disparate central, state and independent government agencies and their programs. The core idea is to keep it minimalistic,
Provide an agile system that spurs innovation, create a central database of 1.2 billion Indian residents and provide secure, authorized interfaces to the repository. The potential of having such a system in bringing access, to connect billions up to advanced civic opportunities, such as Wi-Fi, are the first steps to faster self–‐service online marketplaces, smart applications, information and education, creating smart villages, smart cities and a smarter connected society.