Friday, March 18, 2011

Kiran Karnik at IRMA

Just came back from a talk by Kiran Karnik, former President of NASSCOM.He spoke on issues of rural development and role of technology in poverty alleviation. He also touched on issues of social entrepreneurship and innovation.
He spoke of how UID would help in plugging leakages (largely through direct cash transfers) that are hampering effective delivery of welfare schemes. In the Q and A round that followed, I asked him about the role technology can play in identifying the the "poor". How do we solve the inclusion and exclusion problem that arises while preparing BPL lists. He was candid enough to admit that technology had a very limited role. In fact, he rightly stated that problem of exclusion is more serious than the problem of inclusion in the BPL lists.
I think identifying the poor is one of the biggest challenges we face.Universalisation is not the answer as it will lead to fiscal deficit issues!
However, it was an interesting and a nice talk with someone who has played a big role in building India's image as a global outsourcing hub!

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