The slogan of "bijli, sadak, pani" is passé. 'Virtual things' like UID number, bank account and mobile phone are the in-thing, says Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan M Nilekani.
The information technology veteran said that in India, the 'model' has changed, from "roti, kapada, makaan" (food,
clothing, shelter) in the 1960s and 1970s, to the slogan in the last several years of "bijli, sadak, pani" (power, roads,
"Today, it's all virtual things - it's about UID (unique identification) number, mobile phone and bank account,"
Nilekani, best known for his role in building Infosys, said after Citizen Extraordinaire Award 2010, instituted by the
Prestige Group in association with Rotary Bangalore Midtown, Bangalore on Saturday night.
He said "if we can get everyone to have UID number, if we can get everyone to have bank account and if we can get
everyone to have mobile phone, then we are giving them tools of opportunity. With that, they can access services, benefits and their rights."
"We have gone from (the earlier slogans) physical things to abstract things (UID number, bank account, mobile phone),"
Nilekani said, adding, though they look abstract, they really are very, very important and "real foundation."
"We believe soft infrastructure is as important as hard infrastructure," he said.