Wednesday, July 22, 2009

India Set to Issue Biometric IDs


The Government of India plans to issue Unique Identification Card to all Indian citizens, under the national ID program, with an estimated to cost around Rs 150,000 cr.

The project will be led by hi-tech entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani and is based on computer application called SCOSTA.

The biometric smart card will have personal details related to retina, fingerprints, credit histories, name, sex, address, marital status, photo, identification mark and criminal background details (if any). These details will be linked to a central online database or repository.

The creation of UID was one of the major agenda in UPA government manifesto during the recent elections.

The issue of identification cards is a move towards better governance (e-governance). It is expected to elevate bureaucratic tangles with a single identity card issued to a person. Presently there are different identity cards issued to a single person, some of which are valid /applicable at all times.

The card can serve multiple purposes like its use as voter ID card and proof for opening new bank accounts. It will also help to check illegal immigration and curb terrorism.

Nandan Nilekani, aged 54, is one of the founding members of Bangalore-based software giant- Infosys Technologies. To avoid conflict of interest, Nilekani will step down from the chairmanship of Infosys and will serve Unique Identification Authority of India.

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