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Nilekani to head Unique Database Authority, gets Cabinet rank – The Economic Times


Infosys Technologies’ Co-Chairman Nandan Nilekani was today appointed as Chairman of an Authority with Cabinet minister’s rank to steer the ambitious scheme for creating a multi-purpose unique identification database of citizens.

54-year-old Nilekani, the co-founder of the leading IT firm along with N R Narayana Murthy 28 years ago, will head the Unique Identification Database Authority of India (UIDAI) under the aegis of the Planning Commission. (via Nilekani to head Unique Database Authority, gets Cabinet rank- Corporate Announcement-News By Company-News-The Economic Times).

Infosys … PR … gushing media

In typical Infosys style, with a huge PR turnout and saturation media coverage, Nandan Nilekani’s appointment was announced. While there is much to be admired about the success of Infosys, their PR and lobbying (perhaps a necessary evil) grates.

The coming fraud

Coming to the UID project, this project is being sold to Indians as a ‘cure-all’.  As the gushing press reports, it will: -

  1. Address security concerns
  2. Over-haul and direct the delivery mechanism for public goods and services to intended beneficiaries
  3. Also means orders worth crores being rolled out to top IT firms including Infosys, Wipro and TCS
  4. A big leap in e-governance and a big leg-up for national security
  5. Eliminate wastage and leakage of official subsidies
  6. Overhaul the entire subsidy system from subsidising products and services
  7. Direct transfer of the subsidy or welfare payment to the target beneficiary

What it will also do is divert attention away from deeper and essential changes, more pressing issues (especially for the poor) like: -

  1. Agricultural land reform
  2. The reversal of encroachment on forest dwellers lands
  3. Education in Indian languages
  4. The dominance of Big Industry, Big Infrastructure
  5. The erosion of village level economic subsystems

Asuras and Mayas

What this project will do is create ‘maya’ – an asuric’ illusion of a ‘caring State, of an ‘efficient’ government, a ‘vision’ of an ‘effective welfare system’.

Above all it will create a logic and raison d’etre for a bloated Government. And that will be Nandan Nilekani’s job. So, while Nandan Nilekani for years, has been proposing ‘lesser government’, he will now be in the vanguard of creating a BIGGER Government.

What more! I am sure Nandan can see this. He is smart.

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  1. November 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm

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