A Brief History of Identification in India

Research by Isha Malaviya
Edited & Presented by Sumit Krishna Yadav

The politics of identity has long plagued the globe and India is no exception to the issue. From identification systems like the Aadhaar and National Register of Citizens (NRC) to changes in policy through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and more, there have been numerous attempts to devise a consolidated marker for citizenship identification in the country. Although identification in itself might be a useful tool to distribute benefits, the negative implications are also a matter of concern. Exclusion errors and privacy issues mixed with identity politics are further exacerbated as technology makes the process of identification much quicker and applicable at scale. With this in mind, here’s a brief (non-exhaustive) history of identity systems in India.


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