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Background on Nandan Nilekani's appointment to head UID project!

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The appointment of Infy's Nandan nilekani as the head of India's UID project did not came out of the blue. It seems PM got the wind of NN's own writings that talked about providing Unique ID to all Indian citizens. It is not surprising that UPA government is linking the UID to the better delivery of social programs. We all felt the need for a ID system for our own needs like voting, Driving License, Passports etc, but UPA government has taken the leaf out of NN's own thinking which he wrote in his book "Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century"  and linked it to the governance and social justice. Here is a peek into his writing:

Courtsey - Hindustan Times

"....Today Indians can have a multitude of numbers with which to identify ourselves, depending on when and where we interact with the State. When we get a passport we get a passport ID, a ration card gets us another number, when we pay taxes we need a Permanent Account Number (PAN), when we register our vote we get a voter ID card, and on to bar code infinitum. “Our databases are in these disconnected silos,” Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami says. This makes zeroing in on a definite identity for each citizen particularly difficult, since each government department works on a different turf and with different groups of people. The lack of a unique number has given space to plenty of phantoms in voter lists and in Below Poverty Line (BPL) schemes and in holding bank accounts with multiple PANs. One academic tells me, “The number of BPL ration cards circulating in Karnataka is more than the state’s entire population, let alone the number of BPL families.”...."   

NOTE - This UID project would rely on the NPR - National population register created from census drive in 2010 with additional attributes for teh use of UID. Read some of P Chidambaram's interviews and press meets.



psaram42's picture

NNs appointment

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Nandans book “Imagining India” is full of Ideas. I read the book more than half way through. I think I should finish reading it full from where I have left. Nandan was promoting his book quite actively. Now with this appointment his book sales will definitely go up.


This apart his abilities are beyond doubt. So I thought about Naraya Murthy.  Here is the TOI report.


“Ambitious | Rs 150,000 cr Unique Identification Card (UIC) project will catalogue personal details of every Indian citizen on smart cards 
Detailed | To include name, sex, address, marital status, photo, identification mark and finger biometrics 
Hi-tech | Will be based on a sophisticated application called SCOSTA, a secured electronic device that’s used for keeping data & other info in a way that only authorized persons can view it 
Versatile | Can be used for many purposes, ranging from use as voter I-card to proof for opening bank account. Can help deter illegal immigration & curb terrorism 
Urgent | Scheme was launched in Nov 2003 and has so far been given to just 31 lakh citizens. Miffed by the delay, SC in Jan pulled up the govt and asked it to implement the scheme countrywide speedily


It is evident that this appointment was due much earlier. Please see my comment in another thread.


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Nandan knows his job with firewalls, private key and public key

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As a seasoned IT professional, Nandan would not have accepted the job (whether Union Cabinet Minister level or not - his thoughts are on a different footing altogether for the sake of the country and INFY).  He must have put a team of expert techies to work on the UID in order to counter questions that are being floated on Praja. He knows his job and would not have accepted it unless otherwise it is worth doing and it is dear to his heart.  

All of us may have doubts galore but Bangalore has proved its ability to be in the forefront of IT - not for nothing - Infy is the king.  Others like Wipro/Cisco etc., have their own success stories.

- Let us talk about 'way forward' and not 'one step forward and two steps backwards'.

There are enough security/protective systems that can be embeded,  starting with simple passwards, structured shell firewalls, angels, public keys, private keys that cannot be hacked unlike unprotected URLs or Portals.

Let there be a beginning for the new era and let us think holistically. 

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath 


Nitinjhanwar's picture

UID as a Loan Convenant from Monetary funding agencies.

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 Please read the links below to help

you make your opinion about the UID.

In my opinion :

1.0 The cost is too high.

2.0 Initially the technology should not be hihtech but establish

that what exactly are the population figures and not census.

3.0 What percentage of population is covered by various other ID 

e.g. passport, electoral,rashan cards etc...

4.0 Can these be co-related to segregate citizens and 


Once this is established a sample UID card to be renewed in say

two years be given. This will bring the cost down and also satisfy

the Monetarty agencies without taking a hefty loan from them.


Nitin Jhanwar


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