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As chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIA), Nilekani would enjoy the rank of cabinet minister, the Prime Minister's office said in a notification.
The functioning of the authority and activities to be performed by the UIA would serve multiple objectives. The authority shall have the responsibility to lay down plans and policies to implement the unique identification scheme in the country. It shall own and operate the unique identification number database and be responsible for its updation and maintenance on an ongoing basis.
Nilekani’s name had earlier been discussed as a member of the planning commission with the rank of a minister of state. But it was later felt that the UIA project requires a professional of the stature and calibre of Nilekani. As the chairperson of the UIA need to deal with other ministries like home, labour, rural development and information technology, it was felt to assign cabinet minister’s to the post.
The first UPA government had on 28th January notified the UIA under the planning commission and provided Rs1 billion in the interim budget to start the project.
Nilekani is co-founder of Infosys and has served as a director on the company’s board since its inception in 1981. Between March 2002 and June 2007, he served as the company’s chief executive and managing director. Thereafter, he was re-designated as the co-chairman of the company. – Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]