Bengaluru Institute Exports 'Open-Source Aadhaar'

A centre in Bengaluru is extending  unique identity programmes like Aadhaar to developing countries.

The International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIIT-B) has developed an open-source foundational identity platform called the Modular Open-Source Identity Platform (MOSIP), which is currently being used by six countries – Sri Lanka, Morocco, the Philippines, Guinea, Ethiopia and the Togolese Republic – to provide digital identities to their citizens. West African nation Sierra Leone is also coming on board soon.

The programme is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BGMF), Tata Trusts, Norad, and Omidyar Network, which have cumulatively provided Rs 150 crore in funding.

Infosys cofounder Kris Gopalakrishnan’s Pratiksha Trust has also committed $1 million to the project.

So far, in the Philippines, 71 million citizens have been registered using MOSIP, out of which 50 million have been issued identity cards. In Morocco, out of a population of 36 million, 150,000 have been issued unique identity numbers.

IIIT-B intends to reach a billion people in the next couple of years out of three billion people across the world who do not have an identity, its officials told ET.

Other countries that have shown interest in using MOSIP are Uganda, Nigeria, Samoa, and Tunisia.

IIT-B is also evaluating new technologies - other than fingerprint, iris, and face - such as voice biometrics, for national ID use cases.

IIT-B is a not-for-profit society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. It is governed by a board with Gopalakrishnan as chairman.