In A Case Of Conflict Of Interest, Aadhaar Insiders Are Launching Private User-Authentication Companies

Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI) insiders are setting up private companies that offer Aadhar-based services and products for a fee, spotlighting conflict of interest The Indian Express reported that executives who have worked or currently associated with UIDAI, the parent agency of Aadhar, are launching firms or funding start-ups that offer Aadhaar-based services and products for a fee.

UIDAI is the nodal body responsible for rolling out Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number that identifies residents based on their biometrics. While more than 115 crore Aadhaar have been generated in the country, the Aadhaar authentications have crossed 600 till date

Among the executives, the names include Vivek Raghavan, Chief Product Manager of UIDAI who has worked as a volunteer between October 2010 and June 2013. Apart from Raghavan, the other names are Srikanth Nadhamuni and Sanjay Jain. All three of them jointly founded Khosla Labs in September 2012 whose chairman is Vinod Khosla, an investor and entrepreneur.

While Srikanth served as the Head of Technology of UIDAI from 2009 to 2012, Jain served as the Chief Product Manager at UIDAI between 2010 and 2012.

Khosla Labs, in the year 2015, had launched a licensed Authentication User Agency (AUA), for Aadhaar-based authentication services known as  Aadhaar Bridge.

AUA uses Aadhaar-based authentications to verify a person’s identity for automobile and finance companies among many others.

The report says, Aadhaar Bridge is one of the 308 AUAs licensed by UIDAI. Most AUAs are Central and state government bodies, banks, insurance companies or telecom operators.

Apart from Khosla Labs, another company AngelPrime, a venture capital fund founded in 2011, had 11 directors who had worked with UIDAI.