What is the objective of the Unique Identification Project?

  • Establishing one's identity is a major problem that people face in India. As on date , there is no single document that can be used for identifying a person and people are forced to carry multiple documents to be used for different purposes. Thus every time you wish to avail of a service like opening a bank account, obtaining· a passport, mobile connection etc you are forced through a rigmarole of providing different sets of identity documents. Further, the present sets of identity documents being used today do not provide migrants with a mobility of identity, nor do they include the poor and marginalized people.

  • The UID project aims to provide each person in the country with a unique identification number which will become a single source of verifying his identity. This would not. Involve issue of any identity card. The basic identity of a person will be linked to his biometrics and stored in the UID database. Whenever there is a need to establish the identity of the person, the same can be provided through his DID through an online authentication process.

Will it be compulsory to get a UID number?

  • It will not be compulsory to get a UID number, but certainly most beneficial. Any person who is a temporary or ordinary resident of India is eligible for, and should get a UID number as this would spare them the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time they wish to access some service. The UID will also facilitate entry for poor and underprivileged residents into the formal banking system, and the opportunity to avail services provided by the government and the private sector and also gives migrants mobility of identity.

How will the UID database be created?

  • Creation of the UID database will involve a network of institutions at largely three levels. At the point of first public interface there will be Enrolling Agencies who will enroll people into the UID database. These Enrolling Agencies will be monitored by a network of Registrars which would include government and private sector agencies who already have the infrastructure for public interface for eg banks, insurance agencies, LPG distribution companies, NREGS etc. Outreach Groups working among women, children, underprivileged persons etc will also be engaged. At the central level there will be a Central Identity Data Repository which will manage the central data and the network of Registrars.


How will a UID number be issued?

  • A resident will first have to apply before an Enrolling Agency and submit the required form, with information asked for, documents, photograph and biometric elements like all ten fingerprints, both iris scans. This information will be sent through. the Registrar to the UID central database. There it will go through a process of de-duplication. This means that if he will be issued a DID number only if his details are not already in the database. If his details are already there in the database, his application will be rejected. De-duplication makes his UID number really unique and also serves to prevent frauds. In case wrong information is fed into the data base or n person wants to change some information about himself, this will have to be done in accordance with the laid down procedure. The policy will also take into considt':ration disabled persons and the biometric standards prescribed will ensure that these groups are not excluded. In the case of people without hands/ fingers only photo will be used for identity determination and there will be markers to determine uniqueness. Children will be required to get their biometric information updated every five years till they are 18 when their biometrics stabilize.

How will authentication be done?

  • The process would provide for an online authentication of the biometrics of the person. A one to one online match will be run between the biometrics of the person and his biometrics as present in the UID database. The reply to an authentication process will be given in a "Yes" or "No".

How will inclusion of the underprivileged be ensured under the project?

  • Inclusion of the underprivileged is one of the major objectives of the UID project, as it is these persons who find it most difficult to prove their identities and are forced to forego benefits and subsidies. To ensure that every such needy person gets a UlD number the project will work through its network of registrars who already have a presence at local levels and have the infrastructure for public interface. In addition the project would be involving outreach agencies like civil society working among women, children and underprivileged sections of the society.

How secure would the database be?

  • The UID database will be guarded both physically and electronically by a few select individuals with high clearance. It will not be available even for many members of the UID staff and will be secured with the best encryption, and in a highly. secure data vault. All access details will be properly logged.

What is the institutional set up under which this project is being implemented?

  • The government has constituted a Unique Identification Authority of India as an attached office under the Planning Commission. The Authority is headed by Shri Nandan Nilekani, its first Chairman. The Authority will develop and implement the legal, technical and institutional infrastructure for the project.

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