Friday, December 24, 2004

Nilekani not keen on BATF job again

Dharam asks Nilekani to help revive BATF
Infy MD Non-Committal On Taking Up The Job
The Economic Times

WHEN MR N R Narayana Murthy, chairman & chief mentor of Infosys along with the company’s CEO & MD, Mr Nandan Nilekani called on the Karnataka chief minister to invite him for the inaugural function of the company’s training centre in Mysore, it had an unexpected fall out.Nandan Nilekani was called on by Mr Dharam Singh to revive the moribund Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF), which he had famously spearheaded under the erstwhile S M Krishna government.

Mr Dharam Singh, told reporters, following his meeting with the Infosys top brass that BATF will be revived soon.
Mr Nilekani, according to sources was rather noncommittal on taking up the job for which he has been pilloried by influential sections of the current ruling establishment in the state.

Mr Nilekani had spent Rs five crore of his personal money towards running BATF in the five years that he was in charge of it. He had resigned from the post following the exit of S M Krishna in the last state elections as chief minister. It is doubtful that Mr Nilekani will take up on the chief minister’s offer given that the BATF can function effectively only if it has the full and un-stinted support of the establishment, especially the chief minister.

The coalition politics in the state might not be conducive to such an environment given the punches and counter punches that have been thrown by the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state and the industry over the state of Bangalore ubran infrastructure.Although the government has not been vocal about snuffing out BATF, its role under the new government has been under question.

The IT industry in Bangalore have been constantly behind the chief minister and his ministers to improve infrastructure in the capital city and review some of the citizen amenities projects started by the previous government. BATF has been successful in demonstrating the need for more private public partnerships for urban development issues.


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