Digitisation, in this age, has to be the common link in all the sectors of any successful economy, as well as in all the aspects of a progressive society. The indispensability of going digital in any recent or future technological endeavour cannot be emphasised enough.
In India, Aadhaar has played and continues to play an integral role in providing a unified national digital identity framework. The strength of this foundational infrastructure is now being increasingly felt in almost every sphere of life of residents of the country.
Highlighting the key developed areas:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI technologies provide a plethora of opportunities to complement human intelligence and combat socio-economic issues.
Quantum Computing: Applications in secure communication, disaster management through better prediction, computing, simulation, chemistry, healthcare, cryptography, imaging, etc.
Semiconductor Technologies including Semiconductor Nanotechnology: Aim to give a major push to the hardware industry by eliminating boundaries between the digital and physical worlds.
Smart Manufacturing: Use of Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Big data Analytics, AI and Robotics as a part of Industry 4.0, more commercial use of additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing).
Smart Mobility: transportation and logistics solutions, autonomous and remotely piloted vehicles Use of IoT and AI/ML in new-age , vehicles powered by renewable and clean fuels.
Advanced Communication Technologies and its Security: Adoption of 5G, Cloud computing,
penetration of broadband internet to remotest and least developed areas using satellite-based internet, optical fibre, etc., for use-cases such as Tele-health, remote learning and much more. Advancements in cyber security and the hardening of communication systems are also expected to stay apace with the communication and networked technologies. This includes building more secure cryptography solutions as well as the use of Homomorphic encryption technologies (computations performed on encryptic data).
Space Technologies: A plethora of futuristic technologies like SatelliteBased Quantum Communication, Quantum Radar, Self-EatingRocket, Self-Vanishing-Satellite, Self-Healing Materials, Humanoid Robotics, Space-Based-Solar Power, Intelligent Satellites and Space-vehicles, Make-inSpace concept, AI-based space applications, etc.
Blockchain-based technologies: Development of solutions in areas such as Decentralised Financing (DeFi), sovereign digital currencies, and the possible creation of sovereign identities.
Biotechnology: This includes advancements in areas such as Synthetic DNA, Development of Vaccines, 4D printing and Tissue Engineering, Gene Editing, Gene Sequencing, Quantum Microscope, Biosensors, etc.
Agri-food Technologies: Sustainable and remunerative Agriculture (and its allied sectors) is the key to the food security of societies. Technologies related to climate-resilient farming, development of high-yielding seed varieties, resource-conscious and frugal irrigation, seeding, harvesting, and post-harvest technologies will define the future of agriculture, especially for developing countries that have large percentages of their population dependent on it.
Climate & Environmental Conservation: Focus on green and sustainable technologies, renewable energy such as solar, Green Hydrogen, etc.
Technology Innovation in Authentication:
The core strength of Aadhaar is its ability to be authenticated anytime and from anywhere. This completely digital and portable nature of Aadhaar makes it a ready candidate for an enormous number of applications and use-cases, for example, Aadhaar-authentication based digital payments such as those in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and last-mile branchless banking, social welfare benefit/service delivery such as PDS, etc. Some of the innovations that Aadhaar has been able to bring to its Authentication landscape are as follows:
Face Authentication: This is a recently-launched indigenous smartphone-based solution for Aadhaar Authentication using the ‘Face’ modality. It is contactless and has a ‘liveness check’ built into it. This makes it more secure and reliable. It extensively employs AI/ML for ensuring the ‘liveness’ of the modality captured as part of authentication.
Iris-based Aadhaar Authentication: This has been in place for a long time and is being vigorously promoted now due to its inherent strengths which came to the fore, especially during Covid-19. Just as face-modality, it is contactless and more secure, and also more reliable than a fingerprint-based authentication, especially for people with worn-out fingerprints.
Fingerprint Image Record (based) authentication: Fingerprint Image Record is being launched for ensuring the ‘liveness’ of the fingerprints captured and to check cases of possible frauds via fingerprint cloning, etc.
More secure registered devices for enrolment and authentication: For added security, the new devices shall have encryption of Identity Information captured at the device chip/hardware level.