Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1.5 lakh crore ID project: Relevant and Risk

Some excerpts from Karan Thapar CNN-IBN interview with Nandan Nilekani

  • “…the London School of Economics did an analysis and survey of a similar project that was being considered by the British Government and this is the conclusion that they have come to: “The technology envisioned for this scheme is to a large extent untested and unreliable. No scheme on this scale has been undertaken anywhere in the world. Smaller and less ambitious systems have encountered substantial technological and operational problems that are likely to be amplified in a large scale national system”.
  • The second problem inherent is the problem of cost. Once again, the London School of Economics (LSE) did an analysis of a similar project that the British government was thinking of, and that remember is a country which is one-twentieth the size of India and the LSE concluded that the probable cost for Britain would be between 10 to 20 billion pounds.
  • ‘Frontline’ magazine believes that the government in India has a guesstimate of somewhere around Rs 1.5 lakh crore. Is it worth it at that cost?
  • ..the LSE came to when they reviewed a potential British concept along the lines of what you are doing in India: "The success of a national identity system depends on a sensitive cautious and cooperative approach involving all key stakeholders, including an independent and rolling assessment and regular review of management practices," and the LSE concluded that did not exist in the UK.

The coming months will be more interesting to see what happens with UID and Mr Nandan Nilekani.

How do you corroborate Nandan’s risk with IG Patel’s when he was Director of LSE?

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