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Prominent members of iSpirt resign following trolling fiasco: report


InMobi co-founder Naveen Tiwari and FusionCharts CEO Pallav Nadhani have quit iSpirt, the industry organization which was established to promote software products from India and promoting the Digital India programme, the Times of India reports. Their departures from the organization came shortly after iSpirt co-founder Sharad Sharma was forced to disclose that he was running an anonymous Twitter handle trolling people who were demanding better privacy and security standards in Aadhaar.

iSpirt is also responsible for developing IndiaStack, a set of software APIs which includes Aadhaar Auth, eKYC, eSign, DigiLocker, GST Network and the UPI, which is crucial for the government’s Digital India programme.

After the trolling incident, Sharma made a public apology on Twitter and said that iSpirt’s governing council set up an internal committee to investigate the issue and revise the code of ethics and corrective actions.

When contacted, Nadhani said over text that he was not authorized to speak on the issue as he was still part of the internal committee’s investigation and could comment only after the investigation was done. However, the Times of India report, said that Nadhani was unhappy with the organization’s functioning and how it was moving.

Meanwhile, emails reviewed by Times of India said the iSpirt will be disbanding the team that was used to troll and Sharma will have to stay off all public announcements on iSpirt for four months. The internal committee also advised a revamp of iSpirt’s governing council (note Sharma is a member of the governing council). Sanjay Jain, an iSpirt fellow has been tasked with the responsibility to put in place a new communication framework to better reflect the organization’s ideals.

Disclosure: MediaNama editor Nikhil Pahwa was one of the targets of Sharma’s trolling on Twitter. Other members of the editorial team took a decision to pursue the story, Meanwhile, Pahwa has declined to be involved in the issue or comment on it. 

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