Letters to the editor

Updated: Jan 31 2014, 08:53am hrs
No half-leap with Aadhaar

Apropos of your edit 'Won't PAN out' (FE, January 30), Passport and PAN card were designed for specific purposes, apart from the natural corollary of establishing identity. The geographical spread and the sheer volume of the demand for these documents entailed decades of streamlining their delivery while maintaining data fidelityhence, a large part of the process of applying and obtaining the documents was enabled electronically. The Aadhaar, on the other hand, was conceived with a number of end-uses in mind, most of which were yet to be even identified. Thus, it was weak on two counts: the volume of demand was greater than anticipated, many times higher than that for the Passport or the PAN. Yet, perfection and effective delivery was expected from it in less than half a decade even as it was prematurely launched. This overload will continue unless the Aadhaar Stage I goal and time frame are adjusted before going on to Stage II. Meanwhile, PAN card could offer a temporary platform for direct benefits transfer for LPG. Else, an overloaded Aadhaar will discover newer bottlenecks and lead to greater disillusionment. Unique identity number is a good concept but without concomitant excellence in design, administrative support, oversight and monitoring, it goes nowhere. Good in parts, like a curate's egg, the Aadhaar will trundle along to perhaps eventually lose both direction and speed. The Aadhaar project can not also be abandoned as a half-leap, given the ever-present need for it and the R3500 crore price tag it already carries. Efforts have to be doubled to tie up the loose ends and permanent and accessible infrastructure for ease of issue and a time-bound delivery should be set up.

R Narayanan, Ghaziabad

A future without jobs

This refers to your editorial Outsourced (FE, January 23). It is a good thing that most jobs done manually today will get automated in the next 20 years. Rote work, so to speak, is best managed by machines. Human resources must be used only for jobs requiring imagination. Alas, it is not something everyone would accept. Most people tend to look at work as a way to get their daily bread and butter. But, the transition may be more turbulent if the scale of automation is accelerated within a short span of time. Driverless cars and pilotless aircrafts would get cab drivers and pilots onto the streets, jobless. Lets say everything is going to be automated. There would be only few people working. And, most of them on machines. The majority would be jobless. A (minimum) monthly pay-out for all citizens, based on their family sizes would be a good way of ensuring social stability. A strong social security net must be provided by the government. But, what would be the reward for the owners of production units and workers Profit and wages, of course, in addition to the allowance from the government. People can do whatever they want, spending money provided by the government! But why would people prefer to work No work, all play, makes Jack a bright boy

Raghu Seshadri, Chennai