Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Genesis of UIDAI - Part 1

All this while I was under the 'assumption' that the idea of UID had come up during the BJP regime, and it was being concepted primarily for security purpose - on similar lines as the social security concept of the occidental society! But well, I was mistaken...so I started exploring the genesis of UID. Here is the background for those who are interested:

In March 2006, the seeds of UID were sown with the concept of "Unique ID for BPL families". The idea came from Dept of Information Technology. Total budget allocated was 46.7 Cr 2

In July 2006, Processes Committee was set up to come up with the idea of a common database. They suggested the need of a UID Authority to be created under executive order set up under Planning Commission, to ensure pan-departmental and neutral identity (please note: this was a recommendation from the Processes Committee!)1

At the same time, RGI was engaged in the creation of NPR (National Population Register) and issuance of Multi-purpose National Identity Cards to citizens of India

Between Nov 2007 and 2008, it was decided by EGoM (empowered group of ministers) to set up UIDAI under Planning Commission

It was decided that UIDAI would be anchored in the Planning Commission for five years after which a view would be taken as to where the UIDAI would be located within the Government

In Eleventh Five Year Plan, the main objective of UID was clearly drafted:

"The long term objective of the UID Project is to create a Core Database (CDB) for all residents, each having a unique identification number, which is regularly updated and is easily accessible to, and is used by, all departments for identification of residents in the country. The CDB would be used as the basis for identifying a person and enabling cross-linkage of major databases in the country. It is envisaged that the UID could significantly reduce identity related fraud, reduce leakages and allow for better targeting of government schemes"3

What remains to be understood is why was NPR started? What was the strategy decided for NPR and UID?

The second meeting of the EGoM was held on 28 January 2008. It decided on the strategy for the collation of NPR and UIDAI. Inter-alia, the proposal to establish UIDAI Authority under the Planning Commission was approved.3

Wait for Part 2 to understand the idea of NPR and why it originated, strategy of UID and NPR merging together i.e. if I manage to find that information!


1. http://uidai.gov.in
2. http://www.mit.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/annualreport2006-07.pdf

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