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Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  48 reviews
India is sitting on a demographic dividend, expected to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population, roughly 800 million people, of working age. But our country cannot become a global powerhouse unless we resolve the contradictions and bridge the gaps that distort our society. The challenge before us is to enable every one of India’s 1.2 ...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Allen Lane (first published May 26th 2015)
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Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book should have been called "Hold my Beer while I fix this country".
Nandan proposed some great technology based ideas to fix a bunch of stuff that's broken in India in his last book Imagining India (2009). He then quit Infosys to go build on those ideas and convert them from dreams to reality. Today we have Aadhar, UPI, GSTN(coming coon), electronic toll collection and bunch of other stuff which is in the works.
This book is a compilation of these technology based solutions to India's pro
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With Aadhaar Card gaining ubiquity and its fair amount of acceptance as well as criticism, there can be no better time to read "Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations".

I particularly enjoyed reading how Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah explain to us their grand idea of instituting a special start up team to address 10 grand challenges. Moreover, the experience episodes on the stumbling blocks their team needed to encounter on the way to realizing the billion aspirations of India has bee
Harshit Khare
Definitely recommend this to anyone who's ever had an idea to make India function better by streamlining processes using technology.

Given how inaccessible the government is when it comes to sharing details about their schemes and programs, this book is a welcome source of information about how technology has been used over the last few years and what lies ahead. While coming up with innovative ideas is one thing, getting them implemented by working with the government is a different beast altog
Arun Narasimhan
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Every solution to India's biggest problems that is outlined in this book encourages some form of greater understanding and adoption of technology to reduce and eliminate voter fraud,increase the quality of primary education, allow undocumented citizens(people without any identification) to secure the subsidies of which they are deserving...and so on.

The problem lies in fact that not a single solution has been written in enough detail to fit any real world scenario. A lot of difficult words and a
Upadhi Kabra
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: gov
For the size of the book, it covers a lot. If you have been out of India for a while - living outside, missed the growth in country, and the changes that are expected to get us on track to being a big successful thriving economy - i would recommend the book. I also enjoyed the idea of bureaucrats and successful private leaders coming together to correct the causes. the book recommends a 10 person A team to solve each problem in the country with support from the one and only PM.

Digitization can
Aditya Kulkarni
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book that presents a roadmap as to how technology can bring about a change across multiple systems such as political, education, judicial, medical, and among other things using technology as the primary tool.
Saket Suman
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Many experts have argued that technological advancement can pave the way for a developed India. We are sitting on a demographic dividend, expected to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population, roughly 800 million people, of working age. But our country cannot become a global powerhouse unless we resolve the contradictions and bridge the gaps that distort our society. Fancy this: “What if a million banking correspondents equipped with smart phones and biometr ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you reflect on all the good that has happened in India – you will realize that it is not politicians but it is mostly the bureaucrats and technocrats and public-minded citizens. The illustrious list is endless…from JJ Bhabha, Vishweshwarayya, Swaminathan, Kurien, Sam Pitroda, Sridharan….India was lucky to be blessed with such individuals of sterling qualities ( Selfless service being the most important of them all)…who laid the foundation for a modern India and helped us tackle the problemati ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016

Table of Contents


Chapter 01: Aadhaar: From Zero to a Billion in Five Years
Chapter 02: Aadhaar: Behind the Scenes
Chapter 03: Banking on Government Payments
Chapter 04: Mending our Social Safety Nets
Chapter 05: Going Completely Paperless with e-KYC

Chapter 06: Integrating our Economy with The Goods and Services Tax
Chapter 07: Frictionless Highways for Economic Growth
Chapter 08: Streamlining Government Spending
Chapter 09: Strengthening Democracy with Technology
Chapter 10: A New Era in Pol
Harsh Tibarewala
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
brilliant book with lots of ideas. nandan is truly inspirational and he has shown his creditability via aadhar. if we can get 10 nandan in india then we can actually get the distant dreams mentioned in his book as ideas into reality. I am an optimistic and believe in such powerful thoughts. one has to think to be able to do. he has thought. someone can execute.
Sasidhar Thumuluri
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An easy read with so many interesting ideas how technology can tranform India. The authors, Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah, were colleagues in one of the world's most innovative and largest projects (Aadhar) that helped create unique identities for over a billion citizens of India with biometric records.

They describe in the book how Aadhar can be central to several utilities such as banking, government payments, subsidy distribution, and elections. They argue for a platform model of governance w
Nihar Nanda
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are many books which talk about problems, causes of bad performance in overall governance in India and in that process mention briefly about solutions to those problems which is actually peripheral to the scope of those books. However, this book is completely opposite. It gives solutions and that to technology driven solutions. Being from IT background I can clearly realize the importance of the ideas mentioned in this book. Mr Nandan has already proved himself as a successful technology e ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, gift
Futuristic vision of a India, empowered by utilisation of Technology in all sectors possible, be it Jurisdictions, Economy, Policies and regulations, Government structure, Expenditure tracking, across various government scheme, and more.

Nandan’s step towards building a better idea is definitely a way to go. Technology is the only way to move ahead. Be it in terms of cost reduction or making any process smoother.

I would definitely recommend this book to the current Techies and Geeks of India to
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book deals with the background story of recent technological changes that happened in India.This book can be divided into two sections. First, which talks about making of aadhaar and benefit it has provided. Second, the benefit aadhaar and use of other technologies can provide to administration to increase transparency. Also, It was fascinating to know how cashless payment, booking cab, hotel, travel tickets online came into picture and ultimately became very popular.

It was very useful book
Utsav Tiwary
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A primer on solving fundamental problems that affect hundreds of millions of people in India. The sheer audacity and magnitude of the problem is enough to discourage institutions from even trying to fix it. The author breaks down the process of solving such mega-problems into chronological, discreet steps with sound reasoning behind each step (almost to the extent of sounding infallible, but let's ignore that for now). Will revisit and re-read certain sections over again.
Deepanshu Aggarwal
The book is an impassioned expression of a technocrat's vision of an efficient, well-oiled, tech-savvy, welfare oriented, seamless governance system in India and of the tools required to realise the same. Nandan Nilekani, the man behind Aadhaar, along with Viral Shah, writes a visionary book that's a must read for every Indian citizen.
Lokesh Gurram
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Explains behind the scenes actions that went into building UIDAI(Aadhar) and nuances of a bureaucracy one need to be aware of. Proposes interesting technical solutions to India's most pressing issues.
Quite slow in some parts
Unnecessary references to other book(s) by Nandan Nilekani
Prakrut Chauhan
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
What makes this book a must-read is that it not only identifies the key problems in all the sectors but also gives technological solutions to them. The initial chapters also have the story of how Aadhar was built from scratch.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It is a technocrat's handbook. It has good content on everything from Aadhar and GST to solutions to fix education, healthcare and judicial system.

The solutions can be debated, and it may seem like the problems have been oversimplified, but it is good food for thought.
animesh jain
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book presents a framework of how the use of technology in governance is changing the landscape of India stressing mainly on Aadhaar based solutions.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt this book was like "I had told this then. It was my idea." by Nandan and Viral for all the projects current govt of India is implementing.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: india
As someone aptly posted in the reviews,the book should be renamed - "Hold my Beer while I fix this country".
Soumit Mishra
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been working with the Government for a year and a half now and everything that Nilekani and Shah tell is so relatable.
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The authors take no prisoners in outlining problems and practical tech solutions- but of course there is a marketing agenda for Aadhar
Anuj Goliya
Simple solutions required to govern a big country like India
nice book about a digital india
Ankit Anand
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Presenting the government as a platform to realize a billion dreams, the ideas cover the major persistent problems plaguing India. The book gives us valuable insights how technology can be leveraged to solve many pressing concerns across fields and also how a start up like ecosystem inside a government can help solve problems at scale. A good read to develop a perspective that the draconian problems we see all around us can really be solved with innovation by technology and determination and gri ...more
Kaustubh Kirti
The book is a simple read talking about the story about Aadhar, the setting up of UIDAI, how Nandan Nilekani came to a part of it and how the project took off. The authors have tried to weave a picture of the Aadhar Story with some of the current problems facing India and tried to tell why technology today is paramount for growth and development.

The book however clearly falls short of Imagining India. That book was actually about India - talking about multiples issues plaguing India including s
Arun Mahendrakar
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book begins by discussing the development and complexities involved in creating the Aadhar platform. The extensive research done in this regard has been detailed very well. The single purpose of Aadhar - identity verification - is the core of its elegance.

This is followed by sections that discuss its implementation, security and its 'ubiquitous' (so to speak) applicability. Aadhar's multi-factor authentication aligns with the current industry standard of verifying at least two pieces of info
Deepak Venkateswaran
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brilliant , pragmatic and futuristic book by Nandan Nilekani as a sequel to Imagining India.
Nandan has given a holistic picture of his stint as UIDAI chief including the challenges a technocrat faces in delivering inside the system. Practical solutions to which foundations have been laid constitute the book. The book makes the reader realize that the potential of Adhaar is extremely H-U-G-E.
The book is written in a simple way with infographics and mind maps which keeps the reader engrossed t
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Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur, bureaucrat, and politician. He co-founded the IT services company Infosys in Bangalore, India.

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