Demonetisation: Nandan Nilekani picked by Modi in expert panel formed to promote e-payments

Nandan Nilekani is in an expert panel constituted by Niti Aayog and the government to take the demonetisation exercise further.


Nandan Nilekani is in an expert panel constituted by Niti Aayog and the government to take the demonetisation exercise further, and give a push for electronic transactions across India. Nilekani has been supportive of the demonetisation move by the Modi government.

Nilekani is an electrical engineer who studied at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and went on to become one of the six co-founders of Indian Software giant Infosys. Nilekani gave up his position as Chairman at Infosys to become chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), after the then prime minister Manmohan Singh invited him to do so. Nilekani was a part the face of the UPA government's "Adhaar" program.

The panel has thirteen members, and will come up with an action plan to further increase the adoption of e-payments across the country, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror. The panel will create a road map for increased adoption of e-payment platforms, including mobile wallets, credit cards, debit cards, internet banking and United Payments Interface (UPI). The panel will also adapt global best practices for cashless economies for the Indian context, according to a report in Financial Express.

The panel has chief ministers from five states, political leaders, as well as experts from the industry, and lead by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The government picking Nilekani for the panel comes as a surprise. Nilekani had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections with a Congress ticket. The panel will work towards increasing awareness of e-transactions in the general public, and coming up with ways to publicise the advantages of going cashless.

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