Not Just the UID

I have seen people getting excited once they get a fantastic quality database of fifty CEOs or hundred school attorneys, or 2,000 hospitals checking status of Aadhaar card in 4 easy steps. One can sell them charge cards, houses, cars, applications, and another thing potential. Just imagine what you can get with a very precise database of 1.1 bn individuals with their names, addresses, faith, sex, etc. I believe that imagination is going to be the only restriction.


If and when the UID project is successfully done, a great deal of fantasies might actually start to become a reality. Slogans and terminologies that have been been very successful, but we've been hearing for decades bridging the divide between the haves and have nots; bridging the digital divide; sustainable expansion; justice for all; schooling for all; food for many; directly to information might possibly develop into a reality.


UID is very good, but it will need to be endorsed with a lot of other initiatives. The whole range of e-governance projects which will possibly connect the taxpayer to the world (including businesses, education, banking, and health-care), as a result of the UID amount, will want to be off the floor as quickly as possible. As of now there are twenty-seven large scale mission style e-gov projects in the market, only four in performance. These jobs have faced various kinds of hurdles, including technology confusion, project motorist lack, failure of PPP versions, a lot of government control, procurement systems, to name a few.


Over $5 bn will be spent on these projects, according to experts. However, these jobs might need to take off fast; differently the UID that Nilekani is generating will probably just be an un-utilized database. And, we all know how quickly databases eventually become old and obsolete.


Thus far the Indian IT sector (which was mostly exports based) and IT deployment in the domestic market have run on auto mode without much government intervention, either positive or negative. But now's the time for the authorities to really step.