Times of India, January 25, 2013

The Aadhaar-based direct cash transfer scheme may have generated criticism for glitches in its implementation, but Nandan Nilekani the architect of the unique identity card (UID) project is optimistic about its chances, calling its benefits multiple and far-reaching.

The former Infosys CEO said Aaadhar would not only be a first identity card for many people in rural areas but would also work as a proof of identity for a host of services, which can be electronically verified within seconds, saving people time and money, and avoiding inconvenience.

While it is not mandatory to have an Aadhaar card (like the enrollment under national population register, which determines citizenship ), the UID number will be a gateway to number of services like opening bank accounts, applying for passports, driving licences or LPG connections as the service providers will accept it as poof of KYC (know your customer) documentation, Nilekani said while delivering a lecture to mark the 30th anniversary of consumer advocacy group CUTS International.

Drawing parallel to the adoption of CNG in Delhi, secretary general of CUTS International Pradeep S Mehta said that the initial glitches can happen in a project like this but the benefits are huge and the problems can be resolved. He said vested interests did not want the conversion to CNG and the level of pollution was unbearable. But now, the benefits are there for everybody to see, he added.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who addressed the gathering, said that Rajasthan will be rolling out 10 schemes based on Aadhaar very soon. Rajasthan has been at the forefront of implementing the direct cash transfer scheme having three districts out of the 20 in the country.

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