New Delhi: UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani on Thursday said a strategy to tackle corruption at all levels can be effectively and systematically done by use of information technology. "Systemic changes by re-engineering process that interface with the common man through the use of innovative technology solutions will go a long way in addressing the issue of corruption," he said while delivering the 19th Lovraj Kumar Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.
Nilekani, former co-chairman of Infosys Technologies, is heading the government's ambitious programme to provide Aadhaar, an unique identity to all citizens. The government plans to use Aadhaar for benefiting the poor section of the society.
He said the issue of corruption has captured the imagination of society at large and has raised serious issues of governance as well as transparency in the functioning of the country's democracy.
Nilekani said a strategy to tackle corruption at all levels can be effectively and systematically done by use of IT.
The IT expert said that public discourse on corruption has focused on three main threads – enactment of new legislation; creation of quasi-judicial bodies such as Lok Ayuktas, Lok Pal; and taking stern action against the bureaucracy engaging in corruption. "While the need to address the issue of corruption is not a subject matter of debate, it is the form and strategy of tackling corruption that often produces diverse viewpoints."
"Solutions offered by diverse stakeholders range from the simplistic to the often complex and non-implementable," he said. Nilekani said the seriousness of the problem mandates a thorough look into the underlying causes of corruption while solutions offered must be "sustainable, long term, process oriented, systemic and institutionalised".
He said Aadhaar as 'know your customer' norm for accessing financial services, mobile connections, and all government services that require identification will "greatly reduce rent seeking at service delivery points".
The unique identity card is accepted as KYC for opening bank accounts, getting mobile phone and LPG connections. "This enhances access of the common man to public services while reducing the hassle he or she faces in accessing the service," Nilekani added.