Technology could play a pivotal role in good governance says Nandan Nilekeni

Speaking at a symposium on Sustainable Transformation: Our New India's Pan IIT 2010, Dinesh Trivedi, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, emphasised the need for India to develop on all parameters and not just stark GDP figures. Happiness and welfare of all are important and especially for those below the poverty line. We need he said, to break the divide between the Haves and have-nots. Technology is good but should benefit all. In fact it is the responsibility of those technologically proficient to pass on the benefits to the rest of society. In keeping with his mood His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, appealed to all Indians to use their energies, healthy body and mind for the benefit of all. Giving an example of an effort in the self same direction, Nandan Nilekeni Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reiterated that technology, the UID No. could transform society at large. India, he held, has 120 million migrants today with numbers on the rise everyday. These sections' need to reap the benefits of social sector welfare schemes, but are often denied on account 'identification' documents. The issue currently is not that there is inadequate allocation of funds but one of delivery. The benefits have not reached the deserving. This despite the substantial increase in social welfare schemes in the last 10 years. All Indians deserve the fruits of good governance.

The pilot project, he informed has already been implemented in many areas of Karnataka. The allotment of the UID No. would empower the Indian citizen to operate from any part of the country. It would be single source enabler which would empower them for social security/welfare requirements. In its initial phase of 14 months close to 6 lakh+ people have already been covered. Set up along with the Government of India, currently the financials stand at 40 Crores. In keeping with the overall theme of the Conference, that of transforming through Technology, Nilekeni enlightened all that UID technology (Project Aadhar) would empower the common man and assist the Government in better governance. Efforts he also stated are on to network banks and other financial institutions into the UID system. Speaking on the role of the Government in not being able to lead India towards a truly transforming path, Shailesh Gandhi, Central Information Commissioner squarely stated that the though the will may be there, the structure and policies are not designed to deliver. He gave HR policies and practices as an example. What India requires today, India includes both the people at large and the Government, is to work together for a change, talent being plenty. For India to transform every Indian must feel he has stake in the Government.

Another important facet of the hurdles to transformation was vociferously brought out by Arvind Kejriwal, RTI Activist. In response to Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director's, remark that corruption in India is no longer retail but is wholesale, Kejriwal agreed but at same time gave important positive suggestions. The Commonwealth Games exposed the shocking scale and arrogance of corruption. Media has already played its role and the citizens now need to voice their concerns and demand a single investigative agency with the power to act against all, politicians and bureaucrats' included. The current set up is bizarre. The CVC for example has 32 people to investigate 1500 departments. The closing session on 'Building a sustainable future: The Green Society' saw global leaders speaking on the way forward to build a green global society that could further sustain the transformational growth. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner of the Planning Commission, said, 'There has to be a global agreement on the issue of climate change and only cumulative efforts could meet the green objectives. India's National Action Plan for Climate Change is taking necessary steps in liaison with the global community and drafting a way forward to reduce carbon emissions in India.'

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