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Nandan Nilekeni, who is contesting from Bangalore, declared assets worth 7,700 crore rupees, making him the richest politician in India - at least officially, on paper. In his interview to NDTV, he described his rags to riches story and described some of his achievements including "My real wealth is however my experience as cofounder of Infosys and as Aadhar Chairman which gave away 60,000 crore identity cards to people of India as promised." [Congress supporters are now saying this number is wrong and he said 60 crore, which creates problems of a different sort. Read on.]

This sounds very wonderful, except as a long term critic of Aadhaar Cards, I wanted to verify.

60 thousand crore is 600000000000.

Now, as per our census, India's population over 7 years of age is 1,051,404,135.

Let us put these two numbers side by side, and you will see what I saw.

600000000000
1051404135

60000,00,00,000
105,14,04,135

Even if every single Indian above age 7 has an Aadhaar card, he has distributed more cards than the population. Not just more, 570 TIMES more.

One can only wonder who got the remaining cards, particularly considering the recent Cobrapost sting about how easy it is to create fake Aadhaar cards.

This is supposed to be an achievement?

Update:

Now people are saying NDTV reported wrong, and he said 60 crore, which makes some sense, as that is the number being used quite frequently (60 crore UID cards, 60 crore saved per year, etc)

So now the numbers look like

60,00,00,000
105,14,04,135

Which, at least looks like a possible number, but now, at an estimated expense of 150,000 crore so far (it was 45,000 crore in 2010) it is looking like we have spent a mind boggling Rs.2,500 on each card "given away"? (If it were 60 thousand crore cards, they'd have cost a very cheap Rs.2.5)

And after all this, what we have is a card anyone can fake (remember the UID card for "coriander" plant?). The data is owned privately and stored on servers in the US, where it will be subject to US laws and could be accessed by the US government (if not already). One only has to wonder what the biometric data will be for people who don't even go in person to get their cards made.

In any case, this ain't looking like something a chap would put as an achievement or learning!

For a reference, the entire health sector was allocated 37,330 crore in the budget - this includes NHM (NRHM + NUHM) - 21,239 crore, AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) - 1069 crore, 4, 727 crore for medical education, training and research, 150 crore  will be provided for ‘The National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly’, Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) (medical colleges) - 1650 crore and more.

And we are saying making ID cards and records for less than 60% of the population costs almost 4 times all this?

3

Aam Aadmi Party seems to be collecting all sorts of people you'd respect but not expect to see in politics. A fascinating mix of the best of the aam aadmi seems to be waiting to shine their influence on governance of a country they have done proud in other ways and people who have suffered odds against their interest now finding haven and of course many like us, with no specific problems but a lot of resentment against a politics that has treated us as little more than a vote cow.

Collecting here announcements of people joining Aam Aadmi Party that I found interesting.

CEO of Hero Motors Pawan Munjal and CEO of Sony television Sameer Nair join AAP.

Former chairperson and CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS, India), Meera Sanyal joins AAP.

V Balakrishnan joins Aam Aadmi Party after stepping down from the board of Infosys.

Grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and son of Congress leader Anil Shastri left his job as the sales head in Apple Inc to join the AAP.

Retired Navy Officer Vinod Kumar Bhardwaj, former VP, IT & Telecommunications at Mahindra have joined #AAP in Himachal Pradesh.

Retired Army Col. Rajendra Singh joins AAP Bangalore.

Lt Gen H S Panag has joined the Aam Aadmi Party.

Music runs through the soul of India, where people know thousands of songs without even realizing they learned them somewhere. When artists and musicians join a political movement (as opposed to paid or quid pro quo performances), I think it is a good sign. It symbolizes that the movement has space for sensitivity.

Vishal Dadlani performed live for AAP’s concert in Delhi.

Kailash Kher composed an anthem for Aam Aadmi Party.

Remo Fernandes joined Aam Aadmi Party.

Mallika Sarabhai, noted dancer who pissed off the Gujarat government (and got cases framed against her in turn) joins Aam Aadmi Party.

Medha Patkar, activist joined AAP.

Capt. Gopinath (Remember Air Deccan?) joins Aam Aadmi Party.

Prominent Indian TV journalist Ashutosh, ex-managing editor of IBN7 has officially joined AAP.

“Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh’s wife and daughter (based in US) have joined Aam Aadmi Party, though the legend himself wishes to keep distance from politics.

Obviously, there are plenty I missed, and if you comment, I'll add them in.