Handing out cash is more efficient and less susceptible to corruption than handing out food or subsidising fuel. But as long as many of India’s 1.2 billion people lacked proper identification, let alone bank accounts, cash transfers were impracticable.

A huge project is getting millions of Indians biometrically identified and opening accounts for them. Nandan Nilekani, an IT billionaire who is the brains behind it, expects that by the end of 2014 600m Indians will be enrolled, creating the infrastructure for a system of cash welfare.....Read More

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