Tag Archives: Scam

At the Foundation – talking with people

It was a dark and stormy night, and ….

No wait, that’s not quite right. It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon, actually.

However, it was certainly dark and stormy, Mumbai’s wettest day this monsoon, with 16 measured cm of rain, most of which seemed to be pelting down my collar as I arrived at the moneylife.gifMoneylife Foundation’s Shivaji Park offices on 17th August 2010.

I went there to interact with people who wanted to learn more about Aadhaar, India’s multi-billion dollar IT projectAadhaarLogo.png, that promises to assign unique identity numbers for each resident of India. Keen readers of this blog will have doubtless noted that it was the subject of the previous blogpost too.

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Without Foundation

Aadhaar, ‘the foundation’ (loosely translated) is a gigantic project, that will assign unique numbers to all people in India, to serve as a single reference point to firmly establish their identity. UIDAI, the Unique Identity Authority of India, has been set up, ad interim, as a department of the Planning Commission of India to steward this project.

AadhaarLogo.png

A friend of mine, Ram Krishnaswamy, has tracked well over 400 articles extolling the merits of the project, and gathered them at the blog “Aadhararticles.blogspot.com”. Specific references are linked in this blogpost.

Rather than reassure, however, they raise questions in the mind about the worth of the project. Ram and I decided to work together to compile some key questions. A detailed version of our study has been published in print, in MoneyLife, the magazine brought out by crusading journalists Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu, here and here. This blogpost reflects that article (which is part of an ongoing series). It also reflects some additional information about Q2 below received after it was originally written, and is updated as of Friday, 20 August, 2010.

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