Keeping in mind the Government’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme, the administrative control of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been shifted to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology from Niti Aayog, which earlier replaced the Planning Commission.
UIDAI is the nodal agency to issue Aadhaar, the 12-digit individual identification number, across all states in the country. As the Aadhaar numbers are being linked with several welfare schemes of the Central Government, the decision to shift UIDAI from Niti Aayog is seen as a major step.
Earlier, UIDAI was the part of Planning Commission. But the latter was replaced by Niti Aayog, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson, so it came under the direct control of Niti Aayog. But from now on, it will be governed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, a notification issued by the Government said.
The Cabinet Secretariat recently amended the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and put it under DeitY, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
It is noteworthy that UIDAI project was initially conceived by the erstwhile Planning Commission way back in 2006 as an initiative that would provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programmes and schemes of the Government, it was envisaged.