I have been wondering why some big company keen on E governance not coming up with the following services:

1. a centralized qualification database: a person should be able to convert all his qualifications, marksheets, etc into E form.

2. a centralized MEDICAL database: wherein all the medical records of a person should be nicely available in a searchable form. In case I need to take medical or life insurance, I will authorize the insurance company to take it from there directly.

3. A centralized place where a person can keep all his details – and run by a govt. authorized company – If i check into a hotel I just give that number or authorize a fax / email to the hotel where I wish to stay. It could even be a sms – authorized from a registered phone number…

4. a centralized database of investment – this being a paid service, with authority to draw info from banks, mfs, insurance …..with CLERICAL help to do a one time data entry on day 1….


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  1. Subra,

    The answer is obvious – huge privacy issues and not to mention the cost of creating, maintaining and removal of this data is IMMENSE.

    Think about a data breach, it will lead to all sots of identity theft scenarios. The US and UK have their credit history databases (we have our CIBIL) and there are enough horror stories about identity theft out there. The UK was proposing a medical DB, it never really took off.

    I think if we can at least get a centralized driving license dept, it’ll be a good start(do you know how many VALID licenses a friend of mine has? One from each State he’s lived in)

  2. 1. could be a good idea to begin with. It would help recruiters verify the background of potential hires, among other things. Fast forward some 5 years. You’ll have junta “marks fixing” aka people pay to get their marks changed in that central location, and yet another scam comes to light!

    2, 3 and 4 are prime targets for Identity Theft as Andy mentioned. In fact people have a lot of info in their Gmail accounts, without even realizing what the implications are!

    And yeah, the mother of all bad ideas – Aadhar – is nothing but another project conceptualized and implemented with mostly no privacy and security foresight 🙂 We’ll soon hear of an Aadhar scam 🙂 You read it here first!!!

  3. 1) Govt. instis(CBSE and ICSE) are already working on this.
    2) Many failed in this. Even Google tried out but failed. Don’t why they failed.
    3) Well well well, Aadhar will enable this sooner or later and you won’t like it I bet. 🙂
    4) Ahh…where did u get this idea…again this is work in progress..can’t disclose the company name though !

  4. Sir

    The Centralized Qualification Database is at least there in IT industry although it is not mandated by all companies…its called National Skills Registry. A couple of IT companies are asking for mandatory NSR registration when they hire people as laterals..

    1) https://nationalskillsregistry.com/.. This can be extrapolated for all fields and jobs

    2) we have webmd.com in the US.. But not sure how can be applied to India..Because prescriptions are not controlled.. If i feel like having blood pressure I can visit a pharmacy and get a medicine which is not possible else where.. So record keeping will be missed there.. Again webmd doesn’t cover everybody. Our data would be there only if the concerned parties report it..

    3)I think social or drivers license number can be leveraged to build some systems like that

    4) not sure abt this

  5. Dr Koustubh Chakraborty

    Dear Sir,

    Yes, I’m a doctor ( a species you do not particularly like) and a regular reader of your column — I think 1 and 2 are excellent ideas.

    The Central Qualification database would save all of us the billion-fold harassment of hauling our original paper certificates to the photocopy centre, getting them attested by Gazetted Officers, getting the originals authenticated by our Universities again and again for every other job, and risk losing them in transit.

    The Central Medical Record database with a good search engine would similarly save our patients the ordeal of bringing their 10-year or 15-year old medical records at each visit, or to rely upon their memory to describe any health-related intervention tht would potentially have a lot of impact on the future management plan. It would also save us the monumentous task of pouring over 10-years of data from various physicians and laboratories to find out that one report that contains what we are looking for.

    I hope these get materialized soon, and be accessible with our Aadhar numbers.

  6. @Shiva

    That National Skill Registry in current form is useless one. Know many people (it’s any open secret) who got into MNC’s by using loopholes in National SKill Registry although it’s mandatory.

    When you want to track employees what about companies who play with employee careers. ex: One of my colleague joined one respectable Indian IT service company (which brought it’s founder back). Don’t know why he was recruited but he was kept on bench for three months & asked to leave as they were unable to find a project in HIS DOMAIN.

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