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RS Sharma of Aadhaar challenge fame reappointed as TRAI chairman

By Deepika

New Delhi, Aug 9: Ram Sewak Sharma, who threw Aadhaar challenge was on Thursday reappointed chief of telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) till September 30, 2020.

Ram Sewak Sharma

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved reappointment of Sharma as chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for a further period beyond August 10, 2018 upto September 30, 2020, i.e. the date on which he attains the age of 65 years, the order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.

He was in July 2015 named as the TRAI chief for a three-year period.

Sharma had come under severe criticism from Aadhaar and privacy experts for throwing such a challenge, which many people replicated on Twitter.

However, Sharma defended his move and slammed the ethical hackers, claiming that all the data shared about him was readily available in public domains. He also said that the hackers had used the UPI service to deposit Re 1 in his account.

Later, UIDAI strongly dismissed the claims made on social media that Sharma's details were fetched using his Aadhaar number.

UIDAI said that Aadhaar had built digital trust among people at large and these devious elements are trying to spread misinformation. They said that the Aadhaar database was 'safe', and its 'robustness' had been proved over the last eight years.

They claimed that the information about RS Sharma wasn't fetched from the Aadhaar database or UIDAI's servers. They said the 'hacked' info, was already available in the public domain as he was a public servant for decades and was 'easily available' on Google.

Sharma, a 1978 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, has played key role in implementing Aadhaar project and designing the roadmap for government's Digital India programme.

He is credited to have designed key digital services, such as digital locker, and for fast execution of schemes to push electronics manufacturing in the country.

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