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Government to provide unique identity numbers to all citizens

Posted Feb 02 2009 11:40pm

Beginning a gigantic task of providing a unique identity to every Indian, the government on Tuesday notified setting up of a national authority that will ensure that each of its over one billion citizens carry a permanent identifier from birth to death.

The project, which would cover even children, is aimed at establishing citizenship, reducing identity related frauds,
addressing security issues and preventing leakages in different government schemes, sources said.

The identification number will be provided by the National Authority for Unique Identify (UID), an entity under
the Planning Commission. It will work in coordination with the National Population Register of the Home Ministry through the Registrar General of the Census, in accordance with the Indian Citizenship Act.

The authority will work in cooperation with the similar bodies being set up at the state level, authoritative sources
told PTI.

In the beginning, the UID number will be assigned to all voters by building on current electoral roll data.

Progressively, other persons including those below 18 years of age will be added to the list.Photographs and biometric data will be added to make the identification foolproof, sources said, adding easy registration and information change procedures are also being envisaged for the benefit of the people.

The UID authority, which was earlier approved by the EGoM, will be responsible for creating and maintaining the
core database and laying down all necessary procedures for issuance and usage of UID including arrangements for
collection, validation and authentication of information, proper security of data and rules for sharing and access of
data.

An EGoM headed by the External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee [Images] in November last year had approved establishment of a Unique Identity Authority for all residents of the country.

The UID would facilitate people in availing basic government services like issuance of passports, driving
licenses, Electoral Identity Cards, etc. Backed by intensive use of technology, it is expected to facilitate easy verification of a person's identity and enable a single communication to trigger address changes in all relevant
agencies records.

Besides, it would also serve as the basis for many e-governance services incorporating on-line verification of a
person's identity. In addition, it would enable government to ensure that benefits under various welfare programmes reach the intended beneficiaries.

Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar, according to sources, had asked the Planning Commission officials to expedite setting-up of the authority.
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