Rebooting India by Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah

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Post hacking scandal and Yahoo data breach, I’m tempered to take a tech detox. Surely it was an easier time before the birth of these tech platforms?

If you want a glimpse into how technology is a force for good, this is it. Rebooting India is a book about people far cleverer than me. Nilekani and Shah have created Aadhaar, a unique identifying number linked to an individual’s biometric data. This is the start of their proposals to reboot the Indian state through the application of technology.

For example, Aadhaar allows people previously invisible to the Indian state to prove their identity, the first stepping stone to financial inclusion, voting, and other markers of citizenship. Through this platform, people can use micro-ATMs and fingerprint scanners to access cash far from a bank. Amazing.

As they move away from real life examples, it gets more conceptual and less concrete, and therefore harder to grasp for a layman like me. Bafflingly specific and process orientated, the chapter on the Indian tax system is particularly…taxing.

The larger challenges they propose to tackle are themes like education, health and energy. So while their focus is India, the lessons around innovation are universal.

Read: for cutting edge technological advancement in the real world

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