UIDAI shortlists TCS, HCL Infosystems for R2,000-cr service provider contract

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 7 2012, 08:57am hrs
The countrys largest information technology (IT) outsourcing deal will soon see the light of day with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) having shortlisted Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Infosystems for the R2,000-crore managed services provider (MSP) contract.

The deal was stuck for more than six months because of the long running dispute between the authority and the home ministry on collection of biometric data of the countrys 1.2 billion residents.

We will decide the final winner of the contract by April. The contract took time to decide because we were not sure of the projects future till some time back, said a UIDAI official.

The MSP contract is touted as one of the largest IT outsourcing contracts floated in the country and its winner will manage all IT-related operations of the prestigious Aaadhar project. Till now, the authority has awarded 38 contracts.

MSP services include design, development and implementation of the authoritys Central Information Data Repository (CIDR) based on the functional and technical requirements of the CIDR. The selected firm will have to do the procurement, supply, installation, and commissioning of IT infrastructure components also.

Incidentally, TCS has already been awarded two contracts by the authority for the re-design, development, maintenance and support of UIDAI web portal along with purchase of biometric devices. On the other hand, HCL Infosystems has won four contracts from the UIDAI for managing its intranet and knowledge management portal, purchase of biometric devices, purchase of biometric authentication devices and hard disk drives.

The MSP will manage all IT and the national repository which will contain data of all Indian residents for the

7-10 year lifespan of the project. Selection of the MSP is crucial as the chosen company will be responsible for the roll out of the 600-million Aadhaar numbers by 2014 and manage the end to-end logistics management of UID numbers or Aadhaars, do system and database administration besides managing the technical helpdesk and facilitation centres.

In fact, the UIDAI had reduced the revenue requirement of the MSP contract by R2,000 crore from the earlier limit of R6,000 crore to enable the participation of mid-sized companies in the project.