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uidai: bouquets, brickbats and bugbears

while i was out bobbing in the bottle green waters of lakshadweep’s lagoons — see previous post — this story on the uidai came out.

Barely six months ago, UIDAI was under siege-not just from civil society activists, but also from other parts of the government. The home ministry, one of whose arms was undertaking a similar exercise of identifying Indians, said UIDAI was setting the identity-bar low, which could pose a national-security problem.

A clutch of ministries, all potential users of its solutions, said UIDAI’s blueprint for cash transfers was not feasible.

Elsewhere, UIDAI’s parent, the Planning Commission, was rejecting its Rs 15,000 crore funding proposal and questioning its processes. And a Parliamentary panel examining a legislation that gave the UIDAI legitimacy was dismissing the project as one “conceptualised with no clarity of purpose”.

The question is: after Budget 2012, which increased UIDAI’s allocation by 47% to Rs 1,758 crore and handed it greater responsibility, is all that opposition a thing of the past now? The answer is yes and no.

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