Plan to make UIAI generate own resources

“A mobile connection or getting a credit card needs address verification and the service providers have to hire agencies to do the job. Since we will have a database, we can do on-line verification and get the fees,” Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, told a group of women journalists here on Wednesday.
“Thus we can offset some of the expenses the government has to incur for providing this number to more than one billion people,” he said.

Enrolment process

Maintaining that citizens would not have to apply separately for such a number, Nilekani said the enrolment process and the subsequent issuance of the number would start when someone would seek to get a service provided by the government.

“Suppose you want to open a bank account and you do not have a unique identification number, the bank will forward your name and other details to us and the process will take off from there,” he said adding that the Authority would issue a letter to the concerned person giving that unique number.

Enumerating the biggest challenge for the project, as a part of which the first set of numbers would be issued within the next 18 months, Nilekani said setting up and maintaining the biometric data base of 1.2 billion people would be something which the world has never seen.

Responding to queries on whether foreigners residing in India or the NRIs would get the unique number, Nilekani said a committee headed by former Central Vigilance Commission chairman N Vittal is working on a set of eligibility criteria necessary for the number.

“We are working on the security devices necessary to protect our data bank from hacking and also looking at the privacy and legal aspects. A separate committee has been set up to look into the biometric standards to be used in our database,” he said.

Maintaining that the database would have the print of all the 10 fingers of a person, the former Infosys boss said the rate of false rejection would be minimised.

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