Monday, December 14, 2009

Unique ID project for Indian Citizens !

" Information Technology + India Today = India Tomorrow" - Manmohan Singh

As a step to indicate this quote , the country with largest IT workforce (India) has realized its need to change with technology .The Indian government has proposed a Unique ID project for all the Indian Citizens at the beginning of this year and presently the project has started gearing up . 

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What is UID ?
A project in which every Indian citizen would have one unique identification number that will identify him/her. It would not just help the government track down individuals as is highlighted by the media, but would make life far easier for citizens as they would not have to submit so many documents each time they want to avail a new service—private or government

This project will ensure a permanent ID card, which would have a unique number, photograph and biometric data, for every Indian, from birth till death, and would also cover children and is targeted at cutting down identity-related frauds and addressing security issues, and this project is expected to create huge openings in the IT sector .In addition to that it will become easier for the government to impart e-governance , facilitating online verification through UIDs.

National Authority for Unique Identity (NAUI) , set up under planning commission will be issuing the UIDs and It will work in close coordination with Home Ministry's National Population Register through the Registrar General of the Census, in accordance with the Indian Citizenship Act.

Present Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman : Mr Nandan Nilekani.
Pilot State choosen for the project : Karnataka
Expected to cover India by the year : 2012
The security requirements for the project are chosen from : Information Security Framework (IISF-309) formulated by Naavi under the ITA 2008 

Issues Likely to be faced during the project 

Sources in the e-governance department said the state has a relatively good user database and that is one of the reasons, Karnataka was chosen for the pilot. While it is still at the nascent stage, several guidelines have already been evolved.

“We are likely to choose two districts, one in North Karnataka and one in South Karnataka. Our main job will be to draw information from the data bases from all the departments and see how good the information is.

 “For example, a name in the records of one department might have been spelt differently in the records of another department. We have to see how to resolve such conflicts,” the official explained.

This exercise will be pulling information from the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, Women and Child Welfare Department and the electoral roll.

One of the districts will be semi urban district, while the other will be an urban district.

What is challenging is to work out a method of streamling the information in all the departments and maintain uniformity on a citizen’s basic information.

Apart from this, the need to provide incentives to the citizen to update information is also being considered. The exercise, once it starts, is expected to be completed in three months time.

While privacy concerns remain on this issue, recognising the need to avoid potential minefields, migrants will not be a part of this project. Only residents’ information will be picked randomly to check whether the information will correlate with what is on the other records. If this sounds scary, the government claims that having a id on record will ensure efficient delivery of services.