Foreign diplomats get lesson on unique identification driveOctober 20th, 2011 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) India’s mammoth exercise to issue a unique identification (UID) number to each of its 1.2 billion population has attracted the attention of many nations, and diplomats got a glimpse of what changes in governance could be brought about from the project’s pioneer Nandan Nilekani himself.
Nilekani told the 100 odd diplomats from several embassies based in the capital Wednesday that the UID Authority of India’s effort was to provide an instrument to the people to prove their identity, on the basis of which they could avail basic services, be it subsidised foodgrains or old age pension.
“The UID is just an instrument for identification of an individual…a platform by which services can be accessed. But it provides no right, guarantee or entitlements on anything,” Nilekani, a former chief executive officer of Infosys Technologies, clarified in the programme organised by the ministry of external affairs at Teen Murti Bhavan.
The project, which kickstarted with the launch of the UID in September 2010 in Maharashtra, has so far covered 50 million people by providing them an identity number based on biometric data collected at local centres by the UID Authority.
Aadhar, as the UID is called, will cover 600 million people by 2014.
According to Nilekani, the project, though started by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), had received bipartisan political support.
To buttress the point, Nilekani gave examples of Karnataka, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Tripura, the best performer with 70 percent UID coverage, where the Communist Party of India-Marxist is in government.
Nilekani, the UID Authority of India chairman, also noted that the holder of the unique identification number cannot be denied a government service, be it foodgrains through the public distribution system or payments such as the one under the UPA’s flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.
“This is where the UID can prevent corruption…the siphoning off of common man’s entitlements. The UID paves the way for an inclusive growth,” he said.
He also highlighted for the benefit of the diplomatic corps that the UID was not a citizenship register. The UID would also be independent of passport or driving licence numbers, though these services could use it as a proof of identity of the applicant.
“At the moment, the UID is meant for residents of India. But if the government takes a policy decision, it can be extended to non-resident Indians too,” Nilekani said to another question.
Diplomats from Afghanistan, Kenya, South Korea, Russia, Yemen, some Central Asian countries and Scandinavian countries were present.
- Corporation Bank signs MoU with UIDAI - Aug 05, 2010
- Each Unique ID number costs Rs.100: Nilekani - Dec 03, 2010
- UID to facilitate healthcare services: Nilekani - Dec 01, 2011
- One mn Indians to be enrolled per day for unique identity - Jun 23, 2011
- Compromise reached on Unique ID project row (Lead) - Jan 27, 2012
- Over 2.8 crore unique identity numbers issued - Aug 24, 2011
- Unique identification number helps poor people, says Nilekani - Mar 20, 2010
- Compromise reached on Unique ID project row - Jan 27, 2012
- UID to benefit common people: Manmohan (Lead) - Sep 29, 2010
- Centre launches unique identification number in Tripura - Dec 13, 2010
- UIDAI to refresh data collection process in second phase - Feb 07, 2012
- Cyber expert fears misuse of UID numbers - Aug 12, 2011
- Unique ID project renamed as AADHAAR - Apr 26, 2010
- UID can be an enabler of financial inclusion: Nilekani - May 11, 2010
- Unique ID project set to meet target: Nilekani - Jun 17, 2011
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