Digitalization of India: The Ambitious User Identity Program
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.