[Urbanstudy] Talk by Dr. Silivia Masiero at IIIT Bangalore

Balaji Parthasarathy pbalaji at iiitb.ac.in
Mon Jan 23 21:06:18 CST 2017

The Center for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP)

International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB)

invites you to a talk titled

Aadhaar, Demonetisation and the Poor:
A View from the Field

Dr. Silivia Masiero

3.30 PM on 25 January, 2017 (Wednesday)
Venue: Room 132, IIITB campus
26/C, Electronic City, Hosur Road, Bangalore

About the talk:

In the immediate aftermath of demonetisation, two twin arguments emerged on the context and consequences of the government's sudden move. One pertained to the effectiveness of the move on curbing black money, framed as abnormally diffused in the cash-intensive Indian economy. The second asserted that digital infrastructures would mitigate the effects of the move, especially for the unbanked poor who conduct most of their transactions in cash. The Aadhaar system, centred on biometric data captured to improve access to social services, is the heart of this infrastructure.

In this seminar I examine the potential of an Aadhaar-centred financial inclusion system to help marginalised, unbanked communities to deal with demonetisation, and ease their transition to a 'cashless' economy. I find three constraints to this, lying in issues of technology ownership, access to informational networks, and infrastructural readiness for cashless transactions. As a result, it seems that the poor cannot be easily included in the cashless economy prospected by demonetisation, and digitisation should be supplemented by other means to reduce the humanitarian backlash of the move.

Speaker bio:

Dr Silvia Masiero is a Lecturer in International Development at Loughborough University, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the field of socio-economic development. In particular, she studies the multiple forms of embeddedness of the IT artefact in development policy and governance, with a specific interest in its participation in the politics of anti-poverty programmes. Her current work revolves around the multiple consequences of the adoption of digital platforms for financial inclusion.

Silvia holds a PhD Information Systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a MSc Development Management from the same institution.
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