Indian IT firms to rake in on smartcard projects

Indian IT firms to rake in on smartcard projects

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 26 June 2009, 11:04 Hrs   |    10 Comments
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Indian IT firms to rake in on smartcard projects
Bangalore: The ongoing migration of Indian citizens from paper cards to smart cards is throwing up a multibillion dollar business opportunity for domestic technology players.

The citizen ID card program proposed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will be supported by a vast eco-system, comprising data collectors or managers, delivery channels, chip designers, smart card manufacturers, application and software providers, system integrators, networking analysts and print companies. The entire ID card project in India is estimated to be around 10,000 crore, with the first phase covering ultra-urban, urban, and semi-urban population offering 6,500 crore business opportunities.

IT companies like TCS and Infosys have confirmed that they would actively bid for the project. "The entire process including the bidding process, deal negotiations and business evaluation, are expected to be transparent. There will not be any conflict of interest for us and therefore, we will participate in the bid,'' said a Senior Official at Infosys Technologies.

TCS has already been working with the government on projects like e-passport, Gujarat police and the Defence Ministry. "Since it is going to be an open bidding process, we will be bidding for it,'' said a Senior Official at TCS.

Around 27 large e-governance projects worth 40,000 crore are currently in the pipeline. Having been badly hit by the economic recession, many technology leaders have been urging the government to accelerate these projects to induce economic buoyancy. The UIDAI comes as a quick response to the industry's call.

Som Mittal, the President of IT industry body Nasscom, told Times of India, "This is a transformational project for the country as it will overlay many underlying projects, creating huge efficiencies for the country leading to enhanced governance and reduced costs."

The global shipment of smart card surpassed an estimated five billion units in 2008 and this figure is projected to surge at CAGR of nearly 11 percent through 2012, according to "Smart Card Market Forecast to 2012", a recent market research report.

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Reader's comments(10)
1: Kindly make your \"comments\" more friendly. After typing comments, I spent half an hour to remove certain characters as per the suggestion.
Then it says - \"Continuous entry of characters.Please remove these characters.\"
Now kindly clarify what does it mean.
Posted by:Dr. Vijay Jha - 09 Jul, 2009
2: I am not sure why people hail this project as great and important to the security and economy of the country. I think they dont see the flip side of it which is PRIVACY! As every one else I am not sure what the final result will be, but as a skeptic I will have to say that this might be the beginning of the "Big Brother" state. But unlike the Americans, hope the Indian top brass will respect the privacy of their citizens and keep it to only the information needed like Passports and Financial transaction Accounts. To quote one American on this..."Hey dammit, we had the idea of reducing everyone to a number long before you did, and we're the only ones that should have to suffer with that kind of stupidity. You can steal our jobs, but don't steal our retarded government ideas -- as a patriot, I simply must draw the line there!"
Posted by:Yaswanth N - 29 Jun, 2009
3: At last the people of India will get the benefit of Unique National ID card. Not only the common people benefit, but also many a organizations in the IT/ITES sector will also benefit due to the prospect of earning some really good amount. However, I would like to know if small time earners, like data-entry operators in the urban and semi-urban can enroll themselves (such as entering data, scanning photos, thumb-impressions, etc) to earn some crumbs of this huge cake (if not direct atleast indirectly)?
Posted by:Sabastian - 29 Jun, 2009
4: it is very useful for national security.
Posted by:lakshmichandrakanth - 26 Jun, 2009
5: Hats off to the people who promoted the idea of smart card entry in India, although not sure of the end result of this or the progress, but this would bring a huge boom for IT industry within india which is very much requuired at this point of hour for Indian IT corporate world.
Posted by:Shreekrishna Bhat - 26 Jun, 2009
6: If we can stop printing currency and coins, it would be a revolutionary attempt to save our country. This can make India, free of corruption and accelerate our transition towards 'developed country' status. Today we are using debit/credit card to purchase online or offline, to transfer money etc. We are quite comfortable with that and more people are going to use this facility in the coming days. So it is achievable and the possible challenge would be to launch digital currency, country wide with special care to cater needs of rural public, illiterate people and people those who are differentially able. So just visualize about replacing currency with digital cash...If Unique IDs can be a mandatory card for all citizens, this will not be difficult at all to achieve
Posted by:Sreekumar J - 26 Jun, 2009
Sure it would be an amazing thing technologically. This would mean an entire account of what you do, where you go, how much do you spend will be accessible information. Imagine buying cigarettes stealthily...and your wife/parents see your transactions? Or go out for a pub with friends and tell them at home that you were at work...even this goes in the list :-)

These are not hypothetical problems, these are every day issues in almost everyone's life. Not that every one has a shady character, but every one has their own private life and money is interwoven into our lives. So accounting every paisa is like accounting every move in your life. Yes they solve security issues, no doubt. But what about privacy?
Yaswanth N Replied to: Sreekumar J - 29 Jun, 2009
8: Yes, the smart card entry in India will definitely enhance the economy.
Posted by:Ashwin - 26 Jun, 2009
Really its a great help to india.
Param Replied to: Ashwin - 26 Jun, 2009
really its a great help to indian peaple and the country
venkatakrishnareddy.sajjala Replied to: Param - 17 Jul, 2009