PM, Sonia Gandhi to launch Unique Identification Numbers on Sep 29

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch the issue of Unique Identification Numbers, to be called Aadhar, to residents of the country by distributing the first set of numbers to selected people in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra on September 29.

The launch will also mark the dedication of the Unique ID Mission to the nation, an official press release said here today.

The Unique ID Authority of India (UIDAI) started working in the month of August 2009. The Government had committed to issuing the first set of Unique ID numbers in 12 to 18 months.

According to the release, in the last one year, the infrastructure for this complex project has been set up.

The goal of the UID Mission is to deliver Aadhaar numbers to every resident in the country. In addition, it aims to establish a cost-effective, ubiquitous authentication infrastructure to easily verify these identities online and in real-time.

The release said there were a large number of residents, especially the poorest and the most marginalized, who face challenges in accessing various public benefit programmes due to the lack of possessing a clear identity proof. The Aadhaar number will ease these difficulties in identification, by providing a nationally valid and verifiable single source of identity proof.

The UIDAI will ensure the uniqueness of the Aadhaar numbers through the use of biometric attributes (fingerprints and iris) which will be linked to the number. This will help agencies and service providers across India clean out duplicates and fakes from their databases. The elimination of duplicate, ghost and fake identities across various schemes is expected to substantially improve the efficiency of the delivery systems by ensuring that the leakages are reduced and the benefits reach the right people.

The Aadhaar number is also expected to enable the delivery of various services at the grassroot level in a cost-effective and efficient way. An example of such an Aadhaar-enabled service is in banking for the poor. With the Aadhaar number, residents will be able to easily fulfill the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements of banks. They will be able to verify their identity through the Aadhaar number to banks both in person or remotely, using a mobile device. As a result, banks will be able to provide branchless banking services to hard-to-reach rural regions, and the use of electronic transactions will further bring down costs. Similarly, electronic transfers of benefits and entitlements can be enabled through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

India will be the first country to implement a biometric-based unique ID system for its residents on a national scale, the release added.


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