Shri Nandan Nilekani
Unique Identification Authority of India
The Unique Identification (UID) project, headed by Shri Nandan Nilekani, has been renamed ‘AADHAAR’, which means foundation or support. On 26th April, 2010 in New Delhi, Nilekani unveiled a new logo for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which aims to give the 1.2 billion residents of the country a unique 12-digit identification number. The UIDAI logo depicts a yellow-coloured sun with a fingerprint in the centre. The logo was selected after a nationwide competition that received 2,000 entries.
The brand name and logo for the unique numbers have been developed keeping the transformational potential of the program in mind. Together, they communicate the essence and spirit of the UIDAI’s mandate which is to issue every resident a unique number across the country.
The word ‘AADHAAR’ is present across most Indian languages and can therefore be used in branding and communication of the UIDAI program across the country.
AADHAAR will be a foundation for the effective enforcement of individual rights. A clear registration and recognition of the individual’s identity with the state is necessary to implement their rights – to employment, education, food, etc. The number, by ensuring such registration and recognition of individuals, would help the state deliver these rights.
The logo design for the number helps reinforce the message of AADHAAR – a universal foundation.
As Shri Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the UIDAI notes, “The name ‘AADHAAR’ communicates the fundamental role of the number issued by the UIDAI: the number as a universal identity infrastructure, a foundation over which public and private agencies can build services and applications that benefi t residents across India”
The design, which has been selected as the logo for AADHAAR, is a sun in red and yellow, with a fi ngerprint traced across its centre. The logo communicates the vision for AADHAAR. It represents a new dawn of equal opportunity for each individual, a dawn which emerges from the unique identity the number guarantees for each individual.
The sun in the design represents AADHAAR’s potential. As Shri Ram Sewak Sharma, Director General of the UIDAI, notes, “The sun symbolizes a promise that shines on all residents equally – the number would enable access to services and resources for everyone, including people who have long been disadvantaged, such as marginal groups, migrants, and women and children.” The fi ngerprint within the sun indicates that the promise of AADHAAR stems from its uniqueness. The positive changes enabled byAADHAAR, emerge from the resident’s ability to clearly prove their own unique identity through the number.
The UIDAI has been allocated Rs 1,900 crore for the fi nancial year ending March 31, 2011, of which Rs 1,300 crore will be used to enable the registrars to enroll people in the system and the remaining Rs 600 crore will go towards the setting up of the IT infrastructure.
The model that UIDAI envisions will have the reach and fl exibility to enroll residents across the country. The UIDAI as a statutory body will be responsible for creating, administering and enforcing policy. It will prescribe guidelines on the biometric technology, the various processes around enrolment and
verifi cation procedures to be followed to enroll residents into the AADHAAR system. The UIDAI will also design and create the institutional micro-structure to effectively implement the policy. This will include a Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) that will manage the central system and the network of registrars who will establish resident touch points through enrolling agencies.
The UIDAI will also be collecting the following data fi elds and biometrics for issuing AADHAAR, the unique number:
2.Date of Birth
4.Father’s/Husband’s/Guardian’s name and AADHAAR number Mother’s/Wife’s/Guardian’s Name and AADHAAR number
5.Introducer’s Name and AADHAAR number (in case of lack of documents)
7.All 10 fi ngerprints, photographs and both Iris scans
The UIDAI will partner with a variety of agencies and service providers to enroll residents for AADHAAR numbers and verify their identity. The UIDAI will enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with individual registrars and enable their on boarding with the AADHAAR system. The UIDAI will also enter into agreements with some registrars for using the CIDR, solely for authentication purposes. Such registrars may include State Governments, state PSUs, banks, telecoms etc. The service providers who will adopt the AADHAAR system for identity authentication during service delivery will follow certain processes and standards and may need to re-engineer their internal processes.
A critical aspect of the AADHAAR enrollment process is that enrollment will not be through a mandate but will be demand-driven. The momentum for the AADHAAR will come from residents enrolling in order to access the benefi ts and services associated with it. The basic advantage of the AADHAAR is that it will be one number that can be used to prove identity for life. Once the resident gets the AADHAAR, it may be accepted as identity proof across service
ENROLLMENT PROCESS FOR RESIDENTS
The enrollment process for the AADHAAR number will begin with a resident submitting his/her information to the enrolling agency with supporting documents. This information will be verifi ed according to the prescribed verifi cation procedure. To make sure the poor are not excluded, the UIDAI has prescribed guidelines for applicants without documents. Once the enroller verifi es the resident’s information it will submit the application request through the registrar to the CIDR. The CIDR will then run a de-duplication check comparing the resident’s biometric and demographic information to the records in the database to ensure that the resident is not already enrolled. The fact that the AADHAR system is both de-duplicated and universal will discourage residents from giving incorrect data at the time of enrollment.
To reach millions and to include an estimated 410 million people living on less than $1.25 a day, UIDAI is working closely with Census 2011 survey, as well as
government bodies and NGOs. With an estimated 75 million people homeless and millions others criss-crossing the country as migrant workers with little or no documentation, the UIDAI has a challenge to include all in the system and issue the unique number to them. “The UIDAI will not make the number mandatory, but it is up to the registrars to make it mandatory or not. We are also taking iris as a biometric, besides the ten fi ngerprints, because, in children, the fi ngerprints do not take form till six years of age. Also, labourers’ fi ngerprints get worn out,” explained Nilekani.
ISSUING THE AADHAAR NUMBER
The fi rst AADHAAR numbers will be issued over the next 12-18 months counted from August 2009. The fi rst number would be issued between August 2010 and February 2011. Over fi ve years, the Authority plans to issue 600 million AADHAARs. The numbers will be issued through various ‘registrar’ agencies across the country
UIDAI was allocated a sum of Rs 120 crore in last year’s budget and Rs 1,900 crore this year. The AADHAAR project is estimated to offer IT companies a Rs 15,000-20,000 crore opportunity, as it sets to build an ecosystem around the project, comprising biometrics, databases, smartcards, storage and system integration. Once the AADHAAR number is assigned, the UIDAI will forward the resident a letter that contains his/her registered demographic and biometric details. If there are any mistakes in the demographic details, the resident can contact the relevant registrar/enrolling agency, as per the prescribed procedure. If the registrar issues a card to the resident, the UIDAI will recommend that the card contain the AADHAAR number, name and photograph.
PROTECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION OF RESIDENTS
Even as the UIDAI stores resident information and confi rms identity to authenticating agencies, it will have to ensure the security and privacy of such information. By linking an individual’s personal, identifying information to a AADHAAR, the UIDAI will be creating a transaction identity for each resident that is both verifi ed and reliable. This means that the resident’s identity will possess value, and enable the transfer of money and resources.
Apart from the obvious function of being an identity proof for Indian residents, AADHAAR will provide the identity infrastructure for ensuring fi nancial inclusion across the country – banks can link the unique number to a bank account for every resident, and use the online identity authentication to allow residents to access the account from anywhere in the country.
A vast majority of villages do not have the means to withdraw/deposit money, while ATMs are available in the urban areas. “Making payments possible to the poor at the point where they live is an important part of fi nancial inclusion” says Mr Nandan Nilekani. With the AADHAAR project intending to provide online authentication of an individual, it would lay the foundation for inclusive growth as banking could be taken to the people. With the Reserve Bank of India planning to have ‘Business Correspondents’ (BC) in every village, the latter would be provided mobile phones and fi ngerprint readers. The online authentication for any person can be done in just a few seconds for a transaction. The Business Correspondent would act like a mobile ATM and a person can go to any BC in the country to withdraw/deposit money into their account. The Business Correspondent only has to verify the authenticity of the AADHAAR number through the phone and he will be in the position to provide basic banking services to any individual.
The backend operation of this transaction can be conducted on the existing platforms of ATM, Internet or mobile banking. Mr. Nilekani said that this is how a platform can be created for extending banking services to to the poor using affordable and existing technologies. The UIDAI would come out with standards for banks on how they could make their systems ready. The number will also allow individuals to confi rm through AADHAAR-linked biometric verifi cation, if the services that were targeted for them actually reached them; it will also enable the government to confi rm eligibility of benefi ciaries for welfare services.