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'COWIN is Amazing': Nandan Nilekani on Why India's Covid-19 Vaccination Drive is Better Than US'

File photo of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

File photo of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

Calling India the vaccine capital of the world, Nilekani lauded the Indian govt for its handling of the covid outbreak

Indian entrepreneur and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani praised the Indian government for its efforts to ensure a smooth rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country.

Calling India the vaccine capital of the world, the Aadhaar architect went on to laud the govt for its handling of the covid outbreak and was also full of praise of COWIN, the digital app for covid vaccination.

Speaking at a Clubhouse session organized by Blume Ventures, Nilekani said that as opposed to Seattle where his friend got his vaccine certificate scribbled on a piece of paper, in India the entrepreneur received his vaccine certificate digitally and within a few minutes of taking the covid jab.

“All this has given us a big burst of self-confidence,” Nilekani was quoted saying while in a conversation with angel investor Balaji Srinivasan and Blume’s Karthik Reddy.

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Nilekani also took this opportunity to share about his journey from a software czar to a technocrat. The most crucial trait of a technocrat is to have the ability to build consensus, he said.

“In 2009, I just started my stint at the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) and had a lot of dreams about creating the public digital infrastructure for a billion people. I was given a completely free hand and worked as a startup within the Government, except I had no stock options.” he further added.

As per reports by MoneyControl, Nilekani was also heard complimenting PM Modi for his skills and attentive nature. He said that the NDA government under PM Modi had vehemently opposed the idea of Aadhaar but as technology evolved over time, the NDA govt came to become the biggest supporters of the Aadhaar while the party which initially supported it namely UPA has now come to oppose it.

“So, one needs to focus on making sure ideas are compelling enough to overcome political differences. America is much more polarised and has receded from the public sector, whereas India has chosen to build”, he said,” Nilekani emphasized.

Among other things, Nilekani also backed cryptocurrencies as a store of value, stating that people should be allowed to have them as an asset class.

Nandan Nilekani is one of the most prominent technocrats and has played a major role in building India’s digital rails be it Aadhaar, the UPI payment infrastructure, GST or FASTag.