UIDAI to appoint consultant to identify database management company

UIDAI to appoint consultant to identify database management company

UIDAI to appoint consultant to identify database management company

Nandan Nilekani

"We will shortly be appointing a consultant to help us identify a company who will manage the data centre," he said at the BangaloreIT.Biz 2009 conference here today.

According to UIDAI, the body aimed at implementing the ambitious programme aimed at giving a unique identity to each citizen, the database would be stored on a central server and enrolment of residents would be computerised.

Nilekani said the data base management would be outsourced to the company (after the consultant helps UIDAI identify it) which would operate as a depository -- similar to CDSL and NSDL operating as stock depositories.

He said the biometrics committee and the data standards and verification committee, appointed by the UIDAI, would submit their reports in a couple of months.

Nilekani said UIDAI was looking at global best practices and experiences to be incorporated in its UID project. Earlier this week, it held a two-day workshop where teams from UK, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Columbia and Mexico shared their experiences.

"UIDAI is looking at what's it that they (these countries) have done, what lessons to be learnt from them and what not do do," he said.
UIDAI would come out with a manual within six months on how to make systems UID-ready, Nilekani said.

The first set of UID numbers was aimed to be issued within 12 to 18 months from August 12 this year, and as many as 600 million Indian residents were targetted to be covered in around five-and-half years from now, he said.

Nilekani said "getting a billion people enthused about this (UID) number and getting them enrolled is a massive logistical and communication challenge. Challenge is to build a database of a billion people".

The identification authority has not "fixed" any project cost on issuing UID numbers but if one looked at benefits in terms of societal and efficiency in improving the quality of public service, "whatever investments, would be well worth it".
Nilekani pointed out that it would be a one-time investment, while "benefits are in perpetuity".

No chance of getting number of your choice
 If you are superstitious you may succeed in getting your lucky number for
mobiles or car registration by using your influence, but don't count on it when it comes to the Unique Identification (UID) number.
The 16-digit UIDs would be randomly chosen by the computer and there is no way you can change it.
Nilekani made this clear at the BangaloreIT.Biz 2009 conference here.
An audience member asked during a question and answer session that whether there would be a scheme by which he (who is superstitious) can get a special ID number?
"No special number. Take the number you get," Nilekani said. "Number will be numeric; it will be a 16-digit number".
When asked what was the first "difficulty" or "challenge" after he took the UIDAI assignment after quitting Infosys Technologies as Co-Chairman, Nilekani said being from "outside" the government, there were certainly challenges to adjust to that (government). "I am confident that I will be able to figure out how to navigate through these different (government) systems".