UIDAI Archive

Where’s my UID?

My favourite session of the day was Nandan Nilekani’s talk on the UID project. He described the work that was being done, some of the challenges and what were some of the goals – clearly, this is a massive exercise with the aim of providing IDs to 600M Indians by 2014. Nilekani was crisp in his communication and explained the ramifications of this mammoth exercise – the ID exercise encompasses both financial inclusion and mobile inclusion. The ID will serve as the proof of your existence as an Indian citizen and this concept has to be made aware to the masses – no mean task that! What was interesting was the possibility of opening up banking especially in the remote areas – as Nilekani put it, there is no use in providing bank accounts to people if the nearest branch/ATM is several kilometres away. So, this problem will be bridged by utilizing the local kirana/grocery shops who will function as micro-ATMS and dispense/distribute cash. And the technology that will empower these transactions is mobile – quite amazing! It was really good to see technology being used to address larger issues in India and no better man that Nandan Nilekani to champion this. more

Nandan Nilekani and scripting the Indian IT Dream

The valedictory address at any major conference is always awaited with bated breath. Usually it is delivered by a speaker of international stature, who draws instant recognition amongst those circles. This year, we have Nandan Nilekani doing us the honour. On this note, I must also add, that this blog is not about introducing the man – he needs no introduction really. Rather, it is about exploring the significance of such an address by one,  who is credited to have built a legacy, which most others could not even dream of. In his book “Imagining India,” he talks about ideas: that have arrived, that are in progress, that in battle and finally the ones to anticipate. more