ID WORLD International Congress: Ratan Bajaj

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Ratan Bajaj

Commissioner of Income Tax – Ministry of Finance, India

Speaks at ID WORLD on Transportation Security

Born in Bangalore, lndia, the city now famous as epicentre of global information technology, Ratan Bajaj joined the lndian Revenue Service in 1979. Besides holding key positions at various levels in the lncome Tax department and federal government of lndia, he has had a long and strong association with Direct Tax Reforms in lndia. Over the years, he has played a key role in various ICT programs of the lncome Tax department, most notable being the enrolment for taxpayer identification number (PAN), a runaway success. He has worked closely with multi lateral agencies, such as ADB, CIDA, USAID and World Bank. He has delivered lectures on e-governance and the use of ICT in tax systems to tax administrators from neighboring countries, including Nepal and Sri Lanka. He has received national award for e-governance and international recognition for contribution to use of ICT in public systems in lndia. He regularly participates in national and international conferences on use of ICT in public systems, large scale citizen identity systems and use of biometries. He is passionate about harnessing the potential of ICT to usher in efficient and effective governance, with the aim of providing inclusive growth and creation of an egalitarian society.

“GLOBAL MIGRATION – THE VERIFICATION CHALLENGE”

The need to assert one’s identity in an alien environment to complete and often worried strangers is a two-way challenge, both for the global citizen, as well as the person or the agency faced with the task of such verification. With a near exponential increase in number of people crossing national borders, this challenge is getting critical, complex and demanding, for the identity of an individual is not just a number or a token; it is “a set of meanings applied to the self in a social role or situation defining what it means to be who one is” (Burke, 1991). Nameless, faceless and borderless world created by globalisation and ICT is causing strain to the fabric of civil society, almost ready to be torn apart. Experience so far suggests that traditional identity management solutions, imposed on technology platforms, have specifically failed to deliver in context of global migration.

Evidently, enrolment and verification of global citizens need a new paradigm. Today social networking sites allow us to keep up with friendships … (in) the electronic village” (Dunbar, 2010). The role of social networking sites is growing by the minute, for instance “seconds after Philippa Middelton emerged from the Royals Royce… social media sites lit up with praise for … sister of the bride” (Time, May 16, 2011). It is suggested that because the social networking sites now constitute an important part of the social ecosystem of the global citizen, the political framework for global migration should leverage on these. In the information society, the opportunity for a reliable, robust and super real time identity management system for global citizens lies in new media and its tools. Today, the most potent tool of new media is the mobile, every one’s Man Friday. Will the mobile be the new passport of the global citizen?

 

Speaking on November 4


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