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Infosys to bid for unique identification card project

This article was posted on Jun 26, 2009 and is filed under Stock News

BANGALORE: Infosys Technologies will bid for the ambitious unique identification card project, which a state-run authority would initiate under
Nandan Nilekani
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the chairmanship of its former co-chairman Nandan M. Nilekani, a top official of the IT bellwether said on Friday.

“We do bid for e-governance projects and continue to bid. We will bid for this project too,” Infosys chief executive and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan told IANS here.

“We have done a couple of e-governance projects, including one for the income tax department. We have three such ongoing projects. We will bid for many,” he added.

Ruling out conflict of interest as Nilekani heads the project with a cabinet rank, Gopalakrishnan said the company and its former co-chair would make sure everything was handled with the highest level of integrity and transparency.

“Infosys will make sure we participate in the project by maintaining a high level of integrity. I am sure Nilekani will ensure the (bidding) process is transparent,” Gopalakrishnan said on the margins of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) southern region conference.

Though the global software major had no estimate of the project cost, it said it was aware of the project’s benefits to the government as well as the people.

“We don’t have any estimate of the project. It is a humungous project. We know that it is a project when implemented will help make many of the government programmes much better,” Gopalakrishnan said.

“It will also make sure the government grants reach the right people. It will also make sure the security of the country is in safe hands.”

The project, to be implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as an entity of the Planning Commission, will create unique identification cards to all citizens by 2011.

Initially, the cards will be assigned to all voters by building on current electoral roll data.

The novel smart card will eliminate the need for multiple identifications such as an electoral card, ration card, driving license and PAN (permanent account number) card.

Elated over Nilekani’s new role, Gopalakrishnan said the company and its employees were glad that its co-chairman was given the opportunity to take up such an onerous responsibility.

“We are quite confident that given Nilekani’s breadth of knowledge and capabilities, he will do a wonderful job as he has a vision and can conceptiualise in what needs to be done. He is a consensus man. He knows how to bring people together,” Gopalkrishnan said.
As deputy chairman of CII’s southern region, Gopalakrishnan hoped the union Budget for 2009-10 would allocate more funds for e-governance projects.

“My request has been to increase state spending on e-governance as it will improve the citizen services and help the domestic IT industry in these times of downturn. I have been pitching for more allocation and spending on e-governance,” he added.

source: Economictimes

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