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Unique Identification Number (UID) is a recently finalized initiative by the Government of India to create and manage a centralized identification system for all the adult citizens and residents of India, which can be utilized for a variety of identification purposes. Nandan Nilekani former co-chairman of Infosys has been appointed as the head of Unique Identification Authority of India and will have a ministerial rank. [1] He has decided to step down from the board of Infosys Technologies.[2] The authority is notified as an attached office under the aegis of the planning commission.

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History

The UID system is being considered since last 6 years, but it gained traction only after the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.[3]

Format

The ID system is likely to be a large alpha-numeric string in order to accommodate the count of billion-plus citizens of India and ones that will be born in future. The card is likely to have a 16kb or 64kb storage chip embedded.Adding a photograph and biometric data would be planned progressively. [4]

Purpose and use

The ID is fundamentally being prepared to identify Indian citizens so that better security can be provided by identifying illegal immigrants and terrorists. However, the real power of the ID is in its ability to provide ease of identity establishment to Indian citizens when accessing a variety of governmental and private-sector services.

The likely benefits of the new ID system to the citizens will be as below: 1) Subsidies on food, energy, education, etc to people who are entitled to receive them. 2) Opening bank accounts 3) Getting new telephone, mobile or internet connections, 4) New light or gas connections 5) Getting a passport 6) The same card may act as a driving license and store your traffic violation records 7) It may act as your electoral card 8) Family genealogy may be traced

Funding

The Government had allocated Rs 100 crore in the interim Budget to startup this project.[5] The overall cost estimated for the project is likely to be in excess of Rs 10,000 Crore

Implementation

In the first phase, the UID will be issued to people living in the coastal villages of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Orissa. The Union Territories of Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli as well as Lakshadweep shall also be covered in the first phase. The first lot of cards is expected to be delivered by early 2010.[6]

See also

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References

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