Srikanth Nadhamuni, UIDAI’s first Head of Technology, said the Supreme Court judgement has really affirmed the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

Talking to DH on Wednesday, Nadhamuni said, “I think it is a good, balanced judgement, which takes a middle path between allowing Aadhaar for better benefit delivery and at the same time improving the privacy and protections by limiting indiscriminate linking.”

Nadhamuni played a formidable role in making Aadhaar an Open Source way, adopting open standards, from providing API (Application Programming Interface) at different levels starting from capture devices to de-duplication and even authentication.

This really saved the programme from vendor lock-in at every stage and made huge cost savings. Vendor neutrality made it low cost. “Aadhaar project actively adopted several open standards that make the system neutral and interoperable,” he said.

Nadhamuni said he is concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the use of Aadhaar data by private companies.

Allow pvt sector

“Private sector is roughly 80% of the GDP, and this consists of a long tail of small and medium sized companies that are the backbone of our economy,” he said.

By disallowing private sector companies the use of Aadhaar data, Nadhamuni said the cost of KYC goes from Rs 10 to Rs 1000.

“The trust in the system goes down and cost of transaction be it bike rental, purchase of mutual fund or taking a small loan – all goes up,” he said.

Aadhaar’s former tech head also said private sector should be allowed efficient Aadhaar ID verification, within the bounds of strict privacy provisions.

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