India industry welcomes Nilekani as head of identification number project

The Indian industry has welcomed the appointment of Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani as the head of the government's National Unique Identification Authority of India (UID). He will hold the position with the rank of a cabinet minister. (See: Nandan Nilekani quits Infosys to head government agency)

UID has been recently set up by the government to provide citizens with unique identification numbers, or UID numbers, which can be used to access government services.

Nilekani has subsequently resigned from Infosys board as member and co-chairman.

''I expect the first set of cards to be issued by one of the partners in 12-18 months,'' Nilekani said.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said, "This move will bestow the benefits of information technology to the common man and will also help establish citizenship, thus enhancing security at various levels. This would further bring transparency in different delivery channels help in mapping diverse requirements of the nation and in turn, assure better planning and strategisation for the country."

"Nilekani was the biggest brand ambassador for Infosys on the clients' side and had personal access to the board rooms of many large global firms. It would be a set back for the company," said Sudin Apte, head of Forrester Research in India.