Technology-Enabled Inclusive Innovation: A Case from India

Technology-Enabled Inclusive Innovation: A Case from India

Vanita Yadav
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJIDE.2016010101
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India is a country with a population of 1.2 billion and around 400 million poor people remain excluded from the formal economy. India does not offer a social security number for its residents. Rather, there exist variant forms of identification documents. In 2009, the Government of Indian initiated the Aadhaar project to create biometric technology enabled unique identities for Indian residents. In a short 8-year span, the project has made remarkable progress by enrolling more than 600 million people. The objective of this paper is twofold- (i) to review the emerging literature on inclusive innovation and (ii) to examine the case of Aadhaar Project in India from the perspective of inclusive innovation. Findings of the study reveal that the Aadhaar project has the potential to create an ecosystem of inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship, which can be beneficial for developing economies like India.
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India does not have something like the American Social Security Number and multiple forms of identity documents exist in India. India is a country of 1.2 billion where only 33 million pay taxes and 60 million possess a passport (Parker, 2011). There are millions of Indians who do not possess any form of identity proof and remain excluded from the formal economy. There is a growing stream of researchers who view inclusive innovation as a solution to this inclusion problem.

In literature, inclusive innovation is being proposed as an important and socially relevant concept. However, it is still in its nascent stage of conceptualization (George, McGahan & Prabhu, 2014; Foster & Heeks, 2013) and this paper is an attempt to add to the growing body of knowledge in this area.

The objective of this paper is to first present a review of literature on inclusive innovation. The second objective is to study the case of Government of India’s Aadhaar project using the lens of inclusive innovation. The paper presents a discussion of the Aadhaar project and its operations. The paper also explores the inclusive innovation ecosystem around the Aadhaar project and discusses is potential to address institutional voids in India.

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