Unique identification number from Feb 2011: Nilekani

India will become the first country in the world to issue a unique identity number for each of its residents from February 2011 which will allow an on-line verification, a top official said on Wednesday.

“We will start issuing the unique number by February 2011,” Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said in New Delhi at a talk organised in the Parliament House Library.

He said that giving a unique number to each Indian was a big challenge as UIDAI will make sure that there is no duplication. The project estimated to cost around Rs 30,000 crore will cover the entire population of the country.

Nilekani said that biometrics will be used to prevent duplication and the authority will keep the same kind of information as is mentioned on voter I-card. “We want to keep minimal information,” he said, adding that there will be no invasion of privacy.

He said the unique number will enable the UIDAI to verify identity of a citizen online and India will become the first country in the world to have such a system. “No other country has done it. It will be gateway to open up public services to the people.”


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