Adhaar Presents Huge Opportunities To Startups And Entrepreneurs: Nilekani
New Delhi: About 23 million Adhaar cards have been linked to bank accounts of the users so far and the number is expected to swell to 100 million in the next few months, UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani said today.
"So far, about 23 million (2.3 crore) Adhaar cards have been linked to bank accounts and we expect the number to touch 100 million in the next few months," Nilekani said at an event organised here by software services industry body Nasscom.
Adhaar-linked bank accounts are required to provide cash subsidy on domestic cooking (LPG) gas under the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) Scheme. Government today extended the scheme to 289 districts in the country by January 1.
Last month, the government had announced that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued more than 40.29 crore Aadhaar numbers and the body will achieve the target 60 crore enrolments by 2014.
Nilekani was at the event along with Indian-American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla to participate in a discussion on the opportunities and issues before the entrepreneurs and start-ups in India.
On the opportunities that Adhaar cards presents, Nilekani said it is one of the best ways to check corruption.
"There are two types of corruption. One is large scale, which is like the 2G scam or the coal scam and the other is retail scam like irregularities in distribution of foodgrains, kerosene, etc. Adhaar can effectively check the latter, which I call retail corruption," he added.
Sharing similar views, Khosla said Adhaar presents huge opportunities to start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop apps and services.
"Adhaar is one platform, which presents a huge opportunity to develop apps and services. It is an opportunity in the way you deal with banks or pay your utility bills, etc. It is one of the most powerful investments by the government for an IT-enabled low friction economy," he added.
On the government's role in innovation and promoting entrepreneurship, Khosla said government should be involved in creation of platforms like the Internet or GPS.
"We have to recognise when the government has to step in to invest in infra platforms or long term research funding and at which point do entrepreneurs have to step in to establish businesses," he added.
Nilekani said that innovation and entrepreneurship should have a judicious mix of public policy and market intervention.
On the economic situation in India, Khosla said there is a need to look at the country in long term and short term.
"It has a billion plus people, vibrant democracy and growing market. India looks pretty attractive in the long term," he noted.
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