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Considering all my options: Nilekani on joining politics

Nilekani, 58, is working on his next book that would be based on how to set a link between technology and government

Press Trust Of India  |  Melbourne 

Nandan Nilekani

Amid reports he may join politics, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman on Monday said he was considering all options after stint.

"I am considering all my options as I look at what I do post-Aadhaar," Nilekani said here.

Nilekani, an IIT-ian who left Infosys to join the government as the head of the UIDAI, said, "Having a strong corporate background has been beneficial but there were few adjustments I had to make accordingly to work in the government sector."

Nilekani, 58, is working on his next book that would be based on how to set a link between technology and the government. Media reports last month said Nilekani could join the and contest the 2014

Talking on future e-governance initiatives, Nilekani, due to deliver the Australia India Institute (AII) speech on India's transformation: The role of information technology here on Tuesday, said those were not yet formed.

"I am here to give a public talk at the invitation of the Australia India Institute and to meet leaders from the government, academics and business. It is my first visit to Australia since I left the private sector and joined the government."

'One of two to have by mid-2014'
One of every two would have an number by the middle of 2014, Nilekani said.

"number is useful in removing the duplication of those in the list of beneficiaries." He did not comment on the Supreme Court's interim ruling that had announced Aadhar number as a non-compulsory ID.

Stating that apex court's stand was a subjudice matter, Nilekani stressed that the number was beneficial for a variety of reasons including financial inclusion, direct benefit transfer, identity and subsidy reform. "It can be used as a financial address and linked to it one can have a bank account, send money to another number, get access to public services and also use it for an online authentication of ID for service delivery," he said.

"It has very unique attributes which no other ID system has and I think it is the key to public sector reform and governance transformation," Nilekani commented.

"We have already issued 450 million numbers. In September alone, we issued 25 million numbers and by middle of 2014 we should be able to issue 600 million," he said.

"This means that one in two residents in India will have Aadhaar," he said. He it is a cost effective scheme and less than Rs 3,000 crores have been spent on it till now.

"It is a cost effective scheme with long term gains." "We have already done a lot of work in cash transfers. We have done more than 10 million cash transfers for various services like LPG subsidies as well 10 million online authentications. We have over 30 millions bank accounts that have been connected to numbers."

He further cited the last year's Institute of Public Finance and Policy study paper which had estimated that could save around Rs 110,000 crores of the government expenditure by 2020 on various public service scheme.

First Published: Tue, October 15 2013. 00:29 IST