Establishing identity a cellphone away

Nilekani spells out plan to build citizen database

Establishing identity  a cellphone away

 UIAI Chairman, Nandan Nilekani speaks at the CSIR Foundation Day celebration in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI
The Unique Identity Project (UIP), which aims to build a database on citizens, will help the authorities crosscheck the identities of the persons they are dealing with by using the cellphone.

“Once the numbers are issued, we will go for on-line authentication. Let’s say, you are asking for a job under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). The authorities will send the number and fingerprint of the person on the cellphone and send it across to the central database and receive authentication within seconds with a message on the mobile saying ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ” Unique Identity Authority of India (UIAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani said.

He was delivering the Foundation Day lecture at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research here on Saturday. “This will verify whether you are the person you are claiming to be,” he said.  The UIAI may be the first body in the world to make available on-line authentication where agencies can compare demographic and bio-metric information of a resident with the record stored in the central database.
However, the online identification will be done through a “yes or no response,” and the authority will not share more details.

It will help provide portability to farmers and labourers. When they move from state to state, the unique identity will help them get employment without hassles.
He said banks, mobile service providers, LPG counters and several other organisations could use the unique number to check the identities of their customers.

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