UIDAI Execs Raking In Profits From Aadhaar Rollout: Report
Khosla Labs run by the officials provides “licensed” authentication services, i.e. verification using Aadhaar.
Executives who are currently associated, and some formerly associated with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the body that facilitates the Aadhaar database, are reportedly launching private firms or are funding businesses that provide Aadhaar-based services for a fee.
An investigative report by The Indian Express revealed that Vivek Raghavan, Srikanth and Sanjay Jain together launched the Khosla Labs in 2015, which provides “licensed” Aadhaar-based authentication services.
Raghavan, however, also holds the post of Chief Product Manager in UIDAI. He first served the parent body of Aadhaar as a volunteer between October 2010 and June 2013, following which he was appointed the CPO.
While Nadhamuni has served as UIDAI’s Head of Technology between 2009 and 2012, Jain was also a CPO between 2010 and 2012.
The Authentication User Agency of the Khosla Labs has a license from UIDAI to verify their own customers or provide this verification as a service to other companies.
According to The Indian Express, Raghavan is on a sabbatical from UIDAI, his LinkedIn profile claims that he is responsible for “the design and roll out of the technology platform for Aadhaar, the world’s largest identity program”.
The report also revealed that Nadhamuni who quit UIDAI in September 2012 continues to its “adviser” to UIDAI. He is, however, the CEO of Khosla Labs. While the private firm’s website says that Jain is a part of it, his LinkdIn handle denies the same.
When asked about the linkages, Vikash Shukla the Media Manager for UIDAI said to The Indian Express:
UIDAI has established a nationwide Aadhaar authentication platform which can be used by public as well as private agencies subject to the provisions of the Aadhaar Act and Regulations. Anyone meeting the condition of ‘requesting entity’ prescribed under the Aadhaar Act and Regulations are entitled to use this authentication platform.
According to the report, Khosla is not the only Aadhaar-based firm that Raghavan is associated with. He is also reportedly associated with AngelPrime, a venture capital firm that announced a ‘hackathon’ to expose developers to Aadhaar.
While both Raghavan and Jain did not respond to questionnaires sent by The Indian Express, Nadhamuni claimed that they “went through the due process of applying for a license with the UIDAI like all applicants.”
(With inputs from Indian Express)
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