Nandan Nilekani is homeless in Delhi: DNA
New Delhi: Nearly two months after his high profile lateral entry into the government as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys Technologies, is yet to find a proper office and a residence in New Delhi.
Nilekani operates out of room No 124 of Yojana Bhavan, the seat of the Planning Commission. While Ram Sewak Sharma, a Jharkhand cadre Indian Administrative Service officer attached to his department, has been allotted another room at the place, other staffers sit outside Nilekani's room. Privacy is in short supply here as unwanted visitors keep barging in.
The office space crunch has slowed down recruitment for the Unique Identification (UID) project. The only relief for Nilekani is he spends three days a week in Bangalore, where the technical office of the project is.
"We are looking for space, let's see," Nilekani told DNA. There were rumours that the UIDAI would be shifted to the Life Insurance Corporation building at Connaught Place. "That is an option we are looking at," he said.
Nilekani has reportedly refused space offered in Vigyan Bhavan, where some judicial commissions operate from.
The reason for the delay, sources in the prime minister's office said, could be in the nature of Nilekani's appointment. "Although the UID is the home ministry's baby and will require that ministry to implement it, the department has been attached to the Planning Commission," said an official.
The result shows. After a quick start and an initial presentation to the ministerial council of the UID headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh, Nilekani has confined himself to meeting individual ministers about possible data sources.