Government go ahead to UIDAI's proposal on data collection
Delhi , May 18,2010 16:42 IST
The Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (CC-UIDAI) today approved in principle the adoption of the approach outlined by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for collection of demographic and biometric attributes of residents (face, all ten fingerprints and iris) for the UID project. It was also decided to include data of the iris for children in the age group of 5 to 15 years. The same standards and processes would be adhered to by the Registrar General of India for the National Population Register (NPR) exercise and all other Registrars in the UID system.
The first set of UID numbers will be issued between August 2010 and February 2011. Thereafter, 600 million UID numbers will be issued in the next five years.
The UIDAI proposes to collect the data through various agencies of the Central and the State Governments and others who, in normal course of their activities, interact with the residents. These entities are described as “Registrars” of the UIDAI. Examples of such Registrars at the State level are the Departments of Rural Development (for MNREGA) and Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs (for PDS). At the central level these entities could be Banks, LIC and Oil Marketing Companies. As the NPR exercise is also going on, the Registrar General of India will also be an important Registrar for the purpose of collection of demographic and biometric data for the project.
The UIDAI has been mandated to issue Unique Identification (UID) numbers to the residents of India. It was decided to use biometric attributes of the residents to ensure uniqueness of the identities and for this purpose, the UIDAI constituted two committees viz. (i) Committee on Demographic Data Standards and Verification Procedure and (ii) Committee on Biometric Standards. These Committees gave their reports on 9th December 2009 and 7th January, 2010 respectively. The UIDAI accepted the recommendations made by the committees and decided to collect face, all ten fingerprints and iris attributes of the residents for ensuring uniqueness of the identities.
The UID project would provide unique numbers to all residents of India. Apart from providing identity, the UID will enable better delivery of services and effective governance.
The UID project is primarily aimed at ensuring inclusive growth by providing a form of identity to those who do not have any identity. It seeks to provide UID numbers to the marginalised sections of society and thus would strengthen equity.
Nowhere in the world has such a project on such a large scale ever been implemented. The success of the project would be a classic example of innovation and transparency in governance.
It may be recalled that UIDAI was constituted by the Government of India in January, 2009 as an attached office of the Planning Commission. Prime Minister’s Council on UID Authority was constituted on 30th July, 2009 and its first meeting was held on 12th August, 2009. Subsequently, the Government constituted a Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (CC-UIDAI) in October 2009 to look into all issues relating to UIDAI including its organisation, plans, policies, programmes, schemes, funding and methodology to be adopted for achieving the objectives of the Authority.