This post is continuation of the Digitalization of India series, which captures efforts by the government of India to capture information about majority of its population. This effort will define new grounds and as technology and governance will come hand in hand to shape the future of the nation.
Add the NPR to the UID. User Identity Card UID is UPA government’s project and mega vision to give an identity to all the Indian population. India’s UID program is today the world’s most challenging and ambitious transformation program. The multi-application smart cards with unique identities (UIDs) for citizens will facilitate easy verification, availing of government or private services, help welfare programmes reach intended beneficiaries and for serving as basis for e-Governance. The UID would obviate the need for a person to produce multiple documentary proofs of his identity for availing of any government service, or private services like opening of a bank account. This would end needless harassment that people face for availing of basic government services like issuance of passports, driving licences and electoral identity cards.
Backed by intensive use of technology, it would greatly facilitate easy verification of a person’s identity and enable a single communication to trigger address changes in all relevant agencies records. It would also serve as the basis for many e-Governance services incorporating online verification of a person’s identity.UID would enable government to ensure that benefits under various welfare programmes reach the intended beneficiaries, prevent cornering of benefits by a few people and minimise frauds. It would enable financial institutions to exchange information regarding defaulters and encourage responsible borrower behaviour. The scheme envisages that at the inception, the UID number will be assigned to all voters by building on current electoral roll data and progressively adding other persons including persons below 18 years of age who are not a part of the voters list in the country.The scheme is designed to leverage intensive usage of the UID for multiple purposes to provide an efficient and convenient mechanism to update information. Photographs and biometric data will be added progressively to make the identification foolproof. Easy registration and information change procedures are envisaged for the benefit of the people.Any agency, public or private, which deals with individuals and incorporates the UID number of each such individual in its databases, will be able to share information with other agencies which do likewise.
Computers and Telecommunications not only drive the Indian Economy, it looks to be shaping it fully. This post profiles first of three different efforts all with the same goal of making atleast a majority of Indian Population Digitally enabled.
The Census 2011, a “once in a decade” exercise to measure the population of India has been launched. Notwithstanding, that the census will try to put a number to 1.2 billion population of India and span over 11 months across the 28 states, 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns and 6 lakh villages across the nation and engage 25 lakh officials cost the nation Rs.2,209 crores and spend 11 million tonnes of paper, this Census will be special. The census this time will introduce the National Population Register (NPR) which will profile all persons above 15 years age by photographs and biometric fingerprinting. Thus the census this time will not only put numbers but also have graphic and biometric details of the 1.2 billion population of the country. This will thus become the national data base which will be able to track individuals in terms of Public distribution systems, work permits, salaries and taxes, criminal records and more in months to come.