India’s unique identification programme Aadhaar is a “critical” step in enabling fairer access to government services and has “tremendous potential” for fostering inclusion, according to a United Nations report.

Here I didn't understand what the author is trying to convey but I know the meaning of foster means to support something to develop or to promote but I didn't understand what "fostering inclusion" means, what they are supporting to include?

Can anyone explain it to me clearly?

  • 2
    "Fostering inclusion" means "promoting equal access [to government services", i.e. access for all citizens.
    – Mick
    Dec 18, 2016 at 8:44
  • 3
    What is being fostered here is "inclusion" -- a culture of including people, or a tendency towards including people. "Mandating ramps on buildings really fostered inclusion of handicapped persons. After years of having ramps, we now expect wheelchair access in all normal circumstances -- we are more inclusive by default." Dec 18, 2016 at 8:52
  • 3
    It is policy-wonk jargon. You might also see inclusivity (the opposite of exclusivity). The goal is have all sectors of the population receive services.
    – TimR
    Dec 18, 2016 at 12:32

4 Answers 4


India’s unique identification programme Aadhaar is a “critical” step in enabling fairer access to government services and has “tremendous potential” for fostering inclusion in regards to access to government services, according to a United Nations report.

The words in bold are the actual words taken from the original text if they had been written out instead of just implied.

  • 2
    A more common way of including an editorial note is to put it in square brackets [like this]. Misstakes [sic] are often noted this way.
    – Jasper
    Apr 23, 2017 at 17:19

Broadly Fostering inclusion there means encouraging people to join in.

Is it true that most people believe British is the first and US American the next authority in English? Why, though? If English is a prescriptive language, that might be true but huge numbers - prolly the majority - of scholars insist all rules should be descriptive. If they’re correct then clearly, Chinese and Indian variants outvote any other dialect or idiom.

Please also recognise that here, all before potential contributed only distraction, at best. What, specifically, might potential for fostering inclusion leave out, please?

  • 1
    Except that the vast majority of Indian and Chinese English speakers are speaking English as a second language. I don't think that counts.
    – dwilli
    Apr 27, 2018 at 17:44

They are supporting the inclusion of more people in receiving government services. We assume from the context that those people were previously excluded from receiving government services.

By the way - I would say that the word 'foster' has a more active sense than the word 'support'. To foster something means that you've made a decision to actively change or promote something. To support it means you approve of a certain thing or situation but might or might not take an active role in bringing it about.


It's shorthand for saying that they're trying to make sure that government services feel welcoming to members of all subgroups and that they're trying to avoid not just discrimination and oppression of those groups, but even the appearance or impression of discrimination or oppression.

When discussing these issues, there are certain phrases like "fostering inclusion" and "encouraging diversity" that have become shorthand for a lot of complex issues being addressed.

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