Nandan Nilekani is part of every committee and group that is making Aadhaar mandatory

In a strange case of conflict of interests, Nandan Nilekani, the IT czar, is either heading or part of a committee or group that is turning the 'voluntary' UID number or Aadhaar of residents as mandatory for citizens to access several services and benefits from the government

The Supreme Court has ruled that the unique identification (UID) number or Aadhaar is not mandatory to avail essential services from the government. What is strange is all those ministries and departments that are making Aadhaar ‘mandatory’ are doing so on recommendations from a committee or group associated with Nandan Nilekani, the chief of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). This is pure conflict of interests as the UIDAI itself is maintaining that Aadhaar is 'voluntary' while its chairman is making sure that it is made mandatory to avail a number of services or benefits from the government.


Gopal Krishna, member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), has sent a letter to prime minister Manmohan Singh, defense minister AK Antony who is also the head of the Group of Ministers (GoM) which oversees the issue of resident identity cards under scheme of National Population Register (NPR). Mr Krishna has also sent it to Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of Planning Commission as well as special invitee on the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI-related issues and who is also on the GoM on the issue of resident identity cards under NPR scheme, and Dr C Chandramouli, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.


He said, "I submit that the Supreme Court has revealed that although the attached enrolment form of Aadhaar/unique identification (UID) number promises on top of the form that it is free and voluntary, several central ministries and uninformed state governments attempted to make it mandatory, in a manifest case of breach of citizen's trust."


According to Mr Krishna, the Strategy Overview document of the UIDAI says that "enrolment will not be mandated" adding, "This will not, however, preclude governments or registrars from mandating enrolment". "It must be noted that Mr Nilekani headed several committees whose recommendations made Aadhaar mandatory," he said.


Here is the list of Committees and groups compiled by Mr Krishna, which decided to make Aadhaar mandatory and are linked with Mr Nilekani...


1) He is head of Technology Advisory Group on Unique Projects (TAGUP) that proposes "private company with public purpose" and with "profit making as the motive but not profit maximising".


2) He is head of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is functioning without legislative approval either at the centre or in the states and has signed contracts with companies that work with Intelligence agencies.


3) He is head of Committee on Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology for use on National Highways that proposes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).


4) He is head of Inter-ministerial task force to streamline the subsidy distribution mechanism


5) He is head of Government of India's IT Task Force for Power Sector


6) He is member of National Knowledge Commission


7) He is member of Review Committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission


8) He is member of National Advisory Group on e-Governance


9) He is member of Subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that dealt with issues related to insider trading


10) He is member of Reserve Bank of India's Advisory Group on corporate governance


11) He is member of Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development


12) He is member of Prime Minister headed National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers


13) He is an invitee to the Cabinet Committee on UID related matters


14) He is an invitee to Group of Ministers (GoM) regarding Issue of Resident Identity Cards under NPR Scheme


15) He is a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)


16) He is the president of NCAER


17) He is chairman, Empowered Group, IT Infrastructure for Goods and Services Tax (GST)


"The list is not exhaustive. Mr Nilekani has many more identities as a shareholder and as a former head of a corporation," says Mr Krishna.


Further, according to Mr Krishna, the 'rift between Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Planning Commissions’, the UIDAI on UID and NPR was motivated and meant to take legislatures, citizens, states and media for a ride.


Mr Krishna said, "...it was reported on 6 October 2011 that Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi wrote to the prime minister questioning the need for National Population Register (NPR) by Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner. Gujarat then stopped collection of biometric data for creation of the NPR."


In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Modi raised objections over both the UIDAI, which is creating UID/Aadhaar number and Registrar General of India, which is creating the NPR, collecting biometric data.


In his letter Mr Modi wrote, “…there is no mention of capturing biometrics in the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Rules, 2009”. In the absence of any provision in the Citizenship Act, 1955, or rules for capturing biometrics, it is difficult to appreciate how the capture of biometrics is a statutory requirement. Photography and biometrics is only mentioned in the Manual of Instructions for filling up the NPR household schedule and even in that there is no mention of capturing the iris”.


After Gujarat stopped collection of biometric data, the then Union Minister of Home Affairs, P Chidambaram sent a letter to Mr Modi in August 2011, pointing out that creation of the NPR was a “statutory requirement” under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and “once initialised, (it) has to be necessarily completed”. The MHA had also requested the chief minister to instruct state government officers to cooperate in creation of the NPR. This was when the entire media, citizens and the political class was hoodwinked into believing that there was a rift between Mr Nilekani’s UIDAI under Planning Commission and Dr C Chandramouli’s NPR under MHA when Mr Chidambaram headed it, said Mr Krishna.


Mr Krishna says, "It appears that Mr Modi chose to side with UIDAI in an apparent rebuff to Mr Chidambaram. Mr Modi kicked off UID/Aadhaar project in Gujarat on 1 May 2012 by giving his biometric information and enrolled under the UIDAI project. Strangely, Mr Modi did not object to his biometric identification under UID as he did with regard to NPR. Mr Modi did so despite the fact that Yashwant Sinha (BJP leader) headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that rejected the UID project and the UID Bill in its report to the Parliament on 13 December 2012. However, it may be noted that one sentence of its report appears to endorse biometric NPR. Is it a case of Mr Sinha was trying to side with Mr Chidambaram? It appears that Mr Modi has been taken for ride with regard to the UID/Aadhaar and Mr Sinha with regard to NPR as they failed to see through the strategy. Now Mr Chidambaram is wearing the hat of minister of finance. This is how both Mr Modi and Mr Sinha were outwitted by Mr Chidambaram."    


"I submit that Mr Nilekani met the then deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi at Bihar Bhawan in New Delhi in August 2011 to ensure a centralized IT infrastructure for GST across the states through GST Network, a National Information Utility, a private company with public purpose having profit making as the motive but not profit maximising. This is meant to take away the sovereign function of tax collection from the state," Mr Krishna said in his letter.


Here is the letter sent by Mr Krishna (http://www.toxicswatch.org/2013/09/following-following-supreme-courts.html )....




3 years ago

Govt acts only in distress, but Here the saying is that he should not head the Committee, but can be part of the Committee, expressing his point of view.

Mukesh kamath

3 years ago

Join Team NaNi.... NaNi for PM. Follow him on twitter @NNilekani.

Bhajan Lal Lohia

3 years ago

Nandan is only a technologist, with little or no idea about real life. He can only create technology (though, I doubt even that, since the authentication systems are not yet operational and name, photo, address can still not be authenticated).

He doesn't know anything about the administration, laws, people or policies.

AND, aadhar is for residents of India, (so illegal bangladeshis, pakistanis etc. have acquired aadhar) but is actually being used as a citizenship number.

Giving Nandan the ropes of running the country's administration (which, in reality, is a vote bank creation scheme, without any semblance to anything to improve quality of life of an Indian) using aadhar is suicidal.

Unfortunately, like all other mistakes of Manmohan, Indians have to bear this loss of thousands of crores of a unsuitable scheme.

P b Sarma

3 years ago

Administrative check is much less than required in our country.That is why many Pakistanis or bangladeshis enter India ,settle down,get ration cards,voter Identity cards etc.On this basis now they get Andhra cards.Some political parties are encouraging this practice instead of weeding out unauthorised people purely on vote bank politics.
Secondly due to lack of proper check,foreigners come and stay here without valid passport or visa.Terrorists enter and get all types of identity cards like voter I'd,driving licence etc.Many of them indulge in illegal activities like smuggling ,drug trafficking and other terror related activities.The politicians are not bothered since they get benefitted directly or indirectly and they got proper security at the cost of general population at large.

Gopalakrishnan T V

3 years ago

The insistence of Aadhar to have access to various services though not obligatory as per the SC orders,the message has neither reached at various points of Service nor understood the objective of the concept at various levels. Since Mr Nandan Neilkani is associated with various Committees, it becomes easy for him to make Adhar a compulsory requirement to avail of various facilities. The ground reality is that the issue of Aadhar and its insistence has become a money spinning machine for various machineries operating at ground levels. Village officers, notary public etc are making a lot of money in the name of Aadhar exploiting the ignorance of the masses and taking advantage of the confusion on the need for Aadhar to avail of Gas connection, opening of bank accounts, and other KYC requirements where ever to be met.The objective of AAdhar is no doubt laudable, but it should not be made an avenue to raise revenue illegally at various points. The insistence of AAdhar for people who move from place to place for occupational reasons or for domestic reasons is really an irritant and such people though technically eligible for all the facilities offered by the Govt and its agencies should not be deprived of these in the absence of AAdhar card. 70 % of the population are more or less permanently settled and the issue of Aadhar Card should not be a problem and it should not involve any corrupt practices.



In Reply to Gopalakrishnan T V 3 years ago

you are absoultely right T.V


3 years ago

Aadhar Nandan Nilekani is a Khangress Walla. As if we couldn't see this coming? !!!


3 years ago

There is nothing wrong with AADHAR provided there is proper scrutiny at the time of issuing it and it has the backing of the law on the lines of SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER in USA. Every legal citizen of the country need to have some proof of its nationality. The problem is identifying those who have entered into India illegally.



In Reply to ANIL KUMAR JALOTA 3 years ago

You have mentioned in your message all the problems of Aadhar. Proof of Nationality is from the Voter Card, then there is a National Population Register (NPR) which predates the Aadhar. It is difficult to understand why at all the Aadhar is intruduced, except for Mr Nandan Nilenkeni's persuasive style of marketing and other information that the Aadhar agglomerates and therein lies the real danger. In no other country does one have a single point for ALL data of a person to get accumulated and thus make it easy for fraud to take place. Another major thing in this Aadhar registration is the intention to use it for commercial benefit by those who hold the data (Government) and finally the fact that such a critical type of data is held by forsign companies in some cases, who have taken contracts from the UIDAI - something that I cannot understand at all - as if Indian companies cannot do this work!

Mumbai One

In Reply to ANIL KUMAR JALOTA 3 years ago

Two points people are not well informed..
1. Aadhaar is not for Indian CITIZENS. It is for all RESIDENTS.(You can anytime check Govandi, Cheeta Camp area in Mumbai to see how many Bangladeshi have Aadhaar)
2. SSN in the US does not capture biometrics. Its just a number. The SSN card is still not suitable for primary identification as it has no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name.


3 years ago

Quite amazing and brazen . Mr. Nilekani probably was / is probably a tool to machinations of politicians. I do hope that Nilekani wakes up to what he is doing.


Bhajan Lal Lohia

In Reply to Sunil 3 years ago

Instead, Nadan will contest polls on Congress ticket.
We need to make sure that he is defeated.


In Reply to Bhajan Lal Lohia 3 years ago

Yes, he has made lot of money in this niradhar card and now wants to make more money by entering politicas in corrupt congress ticket.

India’s manufacturing PMI contracts to 49.6 in September

According to HSBC PMI index, during September manufacturing activity in India continued to shrink albeit at a slower pace while order flows, especially export orders remained weak, and employment fell

India’s manufacturing sector activity contracted for the second consecutive month in September as both output and new orders witnessed a decline, says a survey released by HSBC on Tuesday.


The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry stood at 49.6 in September, higher from 48.5 in August, but remained below the crucial 50 mark (below which it indicates contraction) for the second consecutive month.


“Manufacturing activity continued to shrink in September, albeit at a slower pace. Order flows remained weak, especially export orders, and employment fell,” HSBC Chief Economist for India and ASEAN Leif Eskesen said.


The overall rate of contraction was, however, marginal and eased since August, when it had slipped sub 50.0 reading (below which it indicates contraction) for the first time since March 2009.


Faced with fewer projects, companies reduced their workforce number for the first time since February 2012.


“Reflective of a further reduction in new order levels, Indian manufacturers cut their staffing levels in September,” HSBC said adding that “the latest fall ended a period of job creation that had lasted for one and-a-half years’’.


Although new orders fell at a slower and marginal pace, the contraction of export business was very significant.


According to HSBC, a depreciation of the rupee versus the US dollar had resulted in higher prices paid for inputs and limited firms’ ability to price “competitively’’.


The findings of the survey come at a time when the country is battling slower growth rate, wider current account deficit and a battered currency.


According to official data, high imports of gold and oil pushed the current account deficit (CAD) to 4.9% of GDP at $21.8 billion in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal.


“Despite the weak growth readings, the build-up in underlying inflation pressures suggests that the RBI has to keep its inflation guards up,” Eskesen said.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its 20th September policy review, had unexpectedly raised the policy rate by 0.25% as it kept its focus on controlling inflation.


Driven by costlier food items, the wholesale price inflation rose to a six-month high of 6.1% in August.


TC Nair: Right Man, Right Place, Right Time!

The new director of Financial Technologies has an interesting background

On 17th September, Financial Technologies announced the appointment of TC Nair as an independent director. This was at a time when dozens of independent directors, former Union secretaries, regulators, bank chairmen, industrialists and group senior officials were rushing for the exit door. On the face of it, Mr Nair seems a great catch. Financial Technologies was hunting for former regulators and, while many had turned down the offer, this former whole-time director of SEBI and ex-managing director at Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd was happy to accept. While other directors of the FT-MCX group were probably worried about the onerous new liabilities and punitive provisions of the Companies Act 2013, Mr Nair is probably relying on his hitherto charmed existence. In 2007, TC Nair was at SEBI and in charge of regulating the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL) which was a quasi-public sector company indulging in a serious scam under a rogue CEO named R Jayaraman Iyer.

During my investigation, I discovered that SHCIL had leased and furnished an apartment belonging to Mr Nair at Palghat (Kerala) for use as a ‘guest house’ even though it had absolutely no business in that town. In fact, the flat was being maintained, with a caretaker, for Mr Nair’s use when he visited. Despite the disclosure, the then SEBI chairman, a close friend of Jayaraman Iyer, made no attempt to investigate or act.
In May 2008, Mr Nair ignored copious evidence about the Zee group’s involvement in the Ketan Parekh scam (manipulation of its shares, funds running into hundreds of crores of rupees borrowed and transferred to Parekh through Global Trust Bank and much more) and let it off with a warning. This at a time the group was negotiating a ‘consent decree’, haggling to ensure that it paid only Rs5 crore. This order was the basis for several other companies involved in the Ketan Parekh scam to get away too.

Mr Nair had similarly closed the case against the Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), without even a warning, in the infamous IPO scam. With this background, he clearly believes he has nothing to worry about and plenty of perks to enjoy in the Financial Technologies group.



Pearl Nook

8 months ago

Baseless alegations ....poor quality reporting.


3 years ago

With such people holding chairs of the regulator (SEBI) & now spreading their wings to Financial Technologies (controlling NSEL etc), it appears difficult for the people to recover their monies which is held up.

Gopalakrishnan T V

3 years ago

With all regulation, close observations and watchful eye,authorities are able to hoodwink and go their own way to run the institutions, only indicates that they can get away with anything and they do not care a bit for the laws of the land. Money Life is doing its best to bring out the irregularities and wrong doings and this deserves all support and encouragement from general public who are being cheated day in day out.

MG Warrier

3 years ago

Interesting revelations, Sucheta.
In the good old days, agricultural loan had 3 components. (A) Cash, (B) Kind- inputs like seeds, fertilizers etc provided in ‘kind’ and (C) Consumption element- The farmer’s ‘pocket money’ till the crop is harvested. I think, now the ‘public servant’s(include those who work in private sector, but handle other people’s funds) remuneration package has several components. And several ‘quid pro quo’s. Hiring retired people has many dimensions. Moneylife is doing an unpleasant job, which the mainstream media is aviding to do.


3 years ago

Wow unbelievable...

Jose Koshy

3 years ago

Sad...Like CIBIL Scores, we must have an Independent director Score.

Recently JP Morgan had to pay $920M to settle a case, In India such cases can be settled under Rs 5 Crores...Sad !

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