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Nilekani to resign from UIDAI by March-end

February 21, 2014 15:31 IST

Nandan NilekaniUnique Identification Development Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani on Friday said he will resign from his job by March-end to contest Lok Sabha election on Congress ticket.

Nilekani, whose name is doing the rounds for Bengaluru South constituency, however, did not say when he will join Congress party.

"I will be there for a few more weeks. I will be stepping down by end of March," Nilekani, who also co-founded the country's leading software services firm Infosys, told reporters in New Delhi.

He added that the UID is now in a position where anybody can take it forward from this point.

When asked about the constituency from where he will be contesting the elections, he said: "Subject to getting the ticket from Bengalore South".

Nilekani also said he has been meeting people in that capital city and issues like public transport, water supply and education would be some of the major priority areas for him during the elections.

"There are issues like how to improve water supply. Education is a big challenge for children and jobs also," he said.

On a question whether he is taking a big risk by contesting elections, Nilekani, in a lighter vein, said: "In any case, I do not plan to lose".

He added that in worst case he might lose but that "risk taking is part of life".

"The reason I chose political path (was because) a lot of changes are required in the system," he said.

Further on Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman expressed hope that about 90 crore (Rs 900 million) Aadhaar numbers would be issued by 2015.

So far 58.7 crore (587 million) Aadhaar numbers have been issued, he added.

"When UID was formed in 2009, we had set (a target to generate) 60 crore (600 million) aadhaars by 2014.

“We are now about 58.7 crore (587 million).

“So we are about 1.3 crore short of the target which will happen in another few weeks.

"Recently, the government also gave us mandate to go to four more states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand which has a total population of 33 crore (330 million).

“So we will build a system now which can do 30 crore (300 million) a year.

“So I think with the momentum continuing, we are looking at enrollments of upto 90 crore (900 million) by sometime in 2015," he said. Nilekani also said that use of Aadhaar cards for voting purpose will be decided by the Election Commission.

Image: Nandan Nilekani

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