Nandan Nilekani

Former Infosys CEO and chairperson of the Unique Identification  Authority of India (UIDAI) project Nandan Nilekani recently criticized the all popular Anna Hazare-led campaign as a “naïve” way to tackle corruption.

After a successful career at Infosys Technologies Ltd, Nilekani is now heading Government of India's technology committee, TAGUP.

Image from Reuters

In an interview to CNN-IBN’s Sagarika Ghose, Nilekani said that tackling corruption needed to be done in a “more holistic and strategic manner.” The Jan Lokpal Bill is “absolutely not” a magic wand against corruption, Nilekani said emphatically.

Calling the Anna movement unjustified, Nilekani said that their bill for the Unique ID authority that was placed before parliament had gone to the Standing Committee for Finance. He said that he had a chance to make presentations before it on more than one occasion. The proceedings although remained confidential, he was confident of the extraordinary job that the parliament does. “I’m very impressed with the quality of the questions, the homework, the due diligence – and it’s all bipartisan: you don’t know who is from which party.”

As the former Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa used to call him, “The pride of Karnataka”, Nandan Nilekani, oversaw the innovative Aadhar project that was first initiated by this man.

Being both a biometric and retina scan based system; Aadhaar is a unique project, the kind that has not been tried by any other country. The all ambitious project aspires to secure unique identification numbers for 1.2 billion people in India. The project hopes to look into the idea of substituting subsidies for petro-fuels, fertiliser and, ultimately, food, with direct cash transfers.

These are some of the honours awarded to Nandan Nilekani:

•    One of the youngest entrepreneurs to join 20 global leaders on the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) Foundation Board in January 2006.

•    Forbes “Businessman of the Year” for Asia in 2007.

•    He, along with Infosys founder (and currently non-executive chairman) N. R. Narayana Murthy, also received Fortune magazine’s ‘Asia’s Businessmen of the Year 2003’ award.

•    Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honors  awarded by the Government of India - 2006.

•    Was presented the 'Legend in Leadership Award' by the Yale University in November 2009. He is the first Indian to receive the top honour.

•    Was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto on the 31st of May, 2011.

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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2011 17:29:19 IST

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