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Updated: February 22, 2014 03:11 IST

Nilekani to quit UIDAI, may contest from Bangalore South

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Infosys co-founder and UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani. File photo.
The Hindu
Infosys co-founder and UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani. File photo.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani on Friday said he will quit the organisation by the end of next month to contest Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket.

The co-founder of Infosys, who joined the UIDAI on July 23, 2009 as its Chairman in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister for a five-year tenure, exuded confidence that the Authority is now in a position where anybody can take its work forward.

"I will be there for a few more weeks. I will be stepping down by end of March," Mr. Nilekani told journalists here. The erstwhile Infosys honcho, who is yet to join the Congress, is likely to get the party ticket from Bangalore South constituency.

Mr. Nilekani said he would contest from Bangalore South seat "subject to getting the ticket". Asked whether he was taking a big risk by contesting elections, Mr. Nilekani, in a lighter vein, said: "In any case I do not plan to lose", but added that in worst case he might lose but that "risk taking is part of life".

"I have been meeting people in that capital city (of Karnataka) and issues like public transport, water supply and education would be some of the major priority areas for him during the elections. There are issues like how to improve water supply...Education is a big challenge for children and jobs also," he said. "The reason I chose political path (was because) a lot of changes are required in the system," he added.

On Aadhaar's progress, Mr. Nilekani said so far 58.7 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued, and hoped that about 90 crore Aadhaar numbers would be issued by 2015. "When UIDAI was formed in 2009, we had set (a target to generate) 60 crore Aadhaars by 2014. We are now about 58.7 crore. So we are about 1.3 crore short of the target which will happen in another few weeks," he said.

"Recently, the government also gave us mandate to go to four more states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand -- which has a total population of 33 crore. So we will build a system now which can do 30 crore a year. So I think with the momentum continuing, we are looking at enrolments of up to 90 crore by sometime in 2015," he added.

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Nilekani joining Congress would not make a difference to the party or the country. He has failed to finish the project he undertook at huge cost to the tax payers.

from:  vijayaraghavan
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 09:44 IST

Fantastic decision from Nandan Nilekani - we need to see more people
like this in Indian politics and help India on track towards prosperity.
Nandan Nilekani knows how to get complex things done - he is a lot
better and great person than the run-away former Delhi CM AK.

from:  Meeran M
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 06:28 IST

Very disappointed that such a gifted individual is joining the wrong
party. Not sure what he is thinking, but there is no doubt that the next
government of India will not be a Congress government.

from:  CS Venkat
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 23:11 IST

He is being rewarded for his loyalty to his political masters. It is high time that we understood that just because a man is successful in one area - like IT - he need not be successful or even understand other areas. We treat the sayings of people like Narayanamurthy, Tata, etc as gospel when we should be analysing whether they are competent to comment in areas other than their own area.
Let us not forget the mess created by Kejriwal in 49 days of non-governance.

from:  venkatasubramani
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 19:43 IST

Eminent Engineer & Experienced Administrator, welcoming him into
Political Governance but would like to know that when he is not able
to influence the Government in delivering QUALITY of service.... will
he be able to handle the corrupted intellects ?

This might sound harsh (I tender my apology) but a factor to be

SOFTWARE with worn-out HARDWARE.

My Best Wishes. As "THE HINDU" caption:


from:  Shankar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 16:48 IST

well its all about bar code number identity given to every single person (so quality doesnt matter)and again its india so its gonna be huge, as per my perspective nilekani has done a great job, and if he feel that any body can take over and run till the target than its good for every body, cuz now he is going to start a new target for india.

from:  Kushal
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 15:55 IST

It should be called AAdhar Paper and NOT card. It is gossamer flimsy. Poor in quality and shame on the Government

from:  Swaminathan R
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 15:39 IST

It is high time that a law is enacted preventing persons who have
served the Government from contesting polls! So much for integrity in

from:  K Rajiv
Posted on: Feb 21, 2014 at 15:38 IST
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