BL DIARY - Aadhaar to Niraadhaar.

Our Bureaus | Updated on December 11, 2011




With the Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry playing ping-pong on the issue of Unique Identification (UID) numbers for all citizens, key stakeholders, including public sector bankers, National Payments Corporation of India officials and service providers are a worried lot. While some public sector banks have set up the infrastructure for enrolling citizens for ‘ Aadhaar' (the brand name of the UID number), others have issued Aadhaar-based debit cards to facilitate micropayments, so that the poor can have low-cost access to financial services at a short distance from their homes. However, with the Home Ministry questioning the reliability of the documents submitted at the time of enrolment for Aadhaar, the Finance Ministry's grand vision of financial inclusion could come a cropper.

All to make a name

What is in a name for a builder with copycats on the prowl? Initiate legal action and wait, sans respite as more join them. That's what happened to Mumbai-based developer Ackruti City, now renamed Hubtown.

Tired after filing 18 cases against people using his company's name, Hemant Shah, Chairman, decided that the only way forward was to change the name under which the company has functioned for more than 30 years. On the lighter side, investors abroad appear to have taken a liking to the new name. Perhaps the old one was very much Indian and a tongue twister too.

Much like the Indian rupee

Who is more difficult to handle, analysts or journalists?

S Mahalingam, CFO of Tata Consultancy Services, was asked this question at a weekend Xmas party, hosted exclusively for them.

Managing the finance of TCS for nearly a decade, Mahalingam is used to handling “clever and stupid” questions from both. But clever as a diplomat, he did not want to disappoint either of them.

Quick came his answer: “When reporters give me stress I go to analysts, and when analysts give me stress I go back to reporters,” he quipped.

But the best part of his answer followed: “Both analysts and journalists are unpredictable, much like the Indian rupee.”

Writer's delight

Literary lovers in Hyderabad were in a state of deja vu. Wilbur Smith, the inimitable fiction writer from the US, was in Hyderabad to promote his latest book ‘Those in Peril'. He regaled the audience with wit, as he narrated his journey as a novelist.

Apart from R. K. Narayan and his Malgudi, and a driver Ashok who had taken the Smiths on an adventurous drive, the popular novelist said he liked traffic on Indian roads too. It was like playing a real computer game. But unlike in PC games, if you don't play it right, you will get killed, he quipped, sending the audience into peals of laughter.

(Contributed by K. Ramkumar, S. Shankar, Adith Charlie and K.V. Kurmanath)

Published on December 11, 2011

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