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  • Unique Identification Authority of India - UIDAI

    An Introduction to the UIDAI

    The Unique Identification project was launched by the Planning Commission in order to ensure that each resident of India would receive a unique form of identification. The project was introduced to provide better welfare services to the residents of the country as well as to act as an overseeing entity to monitor a wide range of governmental schemes and programs.

    Conceptualisation of the UIDAI

    The unique identification concept first saw the light of day in 2006 after the Department of Information Technology granted approval for the project. In its initial phase it was christened the ‘’Unique ID for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families’’ and was to be executed over the duration of one year by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Following the approval, a committee was formed in July 2006 to recommend processes required for the maintenance of data collected in the main database of the BPL project.

    This committee then received a report submitted by M/S Wipro Ltd, which outlined how the UIDAI would be linked with the database of electorates. The Committee also took into consideration that an UIDAI Authority would need to be set up under the Planning Commission’s scope with a view to creating a singular identity for the authority as well as achieving the goals outlined for the XI Plan. A proposal was then handed over to the Planning commission on 30th August 2006 for approval.

    During this time, formation of the National Population Register as well as the rolling out of multi-faceted National Identity Cards to all Indian citizens was being carried out by the Registrar General of India.

    A decision was then taken, following the Prime Minister’s approval, to amalgamate both the National Population Register as well as the Unique Identification Number project under an EGoM (Empowered group of Ministers). This group, which was formed on 4th December 2006, was entrusted with taking a final decision after overseeing the processes involved as well as identifying certain important factors that eventually led to the quick and efficient realisation of the project.

    Decisions taken by the EGoM

    The EGoM held a number of meetings at which decisions were taken with regards to setting up of the UIDAI

    • On 27th November 2007, the EGoM held the first meeting where it identified the need for the creation of a database that was identity related. The meeting also recognised a requirement for the setting up of a system that would be self-sufficient when it came to updation and maintenance on a daily basis.

    • During the second meeting held on 28th January 2008, a plan was devised to amalgamate both the NPR and UIDAI as well as to attain approval for the setup of the UIDAI Authority.

    • During the third meeting on 7th August 2008, a proposal was given to the EGoM with regards to the establishment of the UIDAI. This was done to clear the path towards an ultimatum regarding the UIDAI.

    • At the fourth meeting held on 4th November 2008, a number of decisions were taken:

      • The UIDAI will be recognised as an executive authority in its initial phase

      • The roles of the UIDAI during this phase was to be limited to database creation

      • The establishment of the database was left entirely up to the UIDAI

      • The UIDAI would work as part of the Planning Commission for a five year period

      • The core of the UIDAI would consist of a workforce of 10 persons at the central level

      • Simultaneous approval with State and Central UIDAI authorities

      • A deadline of December 2009 was set for the UIDAI to begin initial functioning by a select set of users

      • The holding of a meeting where the main structure and staff requirements would be decided upon

    • Following these decisions, the Cabinet Secretary recommended the following:

      • Immediate recognition of the UIDAI

      • The working of the UIDAI to be overseen by a high level advisory

      • Certain authorities to be given the responsibility of overseeing the functioning of the Chief UIDAI Commissioner

      • The formation of a core team

    • The Unique Identification Authority of India was eventually set up at the by the Planning Commission at the fourth meeting of the EGoM on 4th November 2008 with a team of 115 officials. At the meeting, the various functions that the UIDAI would have to carry out were finalised and authority was inferred upon the UIDAI with regards to policy implementation, database, updating, operation and maintenance.

    Decisions Taken At The Prime Minister's Council

    On 30th July 2009 the Prime Minister’s Council of UIDAI Authority of India was established. The role of the Council was to act as an advisory to the UIDAI on tasks such as programming, development of different methods and their implementation as well as to ensure that all departments work in tandem with partners and stakeholders.

    The PMs Council arrived at the following decisions:

    • The requirement for a legislative structure

    • Endorsement of the plan across a the board

    • Support with regards to budgetary matters to stakeholders and partners

    • Formulation and establishment of Demographic as well as Biometric standards

    • Approval of the UIDAI Structure

    • Staff Flexibility

    • Deployment and Repatriation of officers

    • Eligibility criteria regarding government accommodation

    • Post broad banding

    • Hiring of professionals

    • Establishment of Global Advisory Councils of PIOs

    • Hiring of interns

    A Cabinet Committee was also set up on October 22nd 2009, to deal with any issues that may arise with the UIDAI as far as its planning, policy making, programming, funding, functioning and other activities are concerned.

    Features of the UIDAI Model

    The main features of the UIDAI Model are:

    • Focus on the poor - One of the main features of the UIDAI Model is its focus on the poorer and economically backward communities of India. It aims to bring a majority of the poorer sections of society under the UID scheme so as to enhance delivery of services to the underprivileged.

    • Resident Enrolment with a thorough and bona fide verification process - In order to avoid instances of fraud and duplication within the UIDAI database, the UIDAI Authority has chalked out a plan to conduct verification of residents by accessing their biometric and demographic details before entering them into the database. Suitable methods will also be in place to ensure parts of the poor populace who do not possess any identification documents will be included in the database without undermining the data collected.

    • Responsibility as a partner - The UIDAI is tasked with collaborating with state and central departments as well as certain agencies from the private sector. These agencies will act as registrars for the UIDAI

    • Flexibility - The model also ensures flexibility as far as issuance of cards, collection of data, verification, processing etc. are concerned.

    • Zero duplication - The model also ensure that the system is designed in such a way so as to avoid instances of duplication of data within the database.

    • Authentication via online means - The UIDAI will ensure that resident’s demographic as well as biometric data can be accessed and compared by the relevant agencies only through strict online authentication

    • Transparency - All data will be available to the public except the Personal Identity Information of a resident

    • Security of Information - Through the use of the latest technology systems, the UIDAI will ensure that all data collated within the database will be safe and secure.

    Role of the UIDAI

    The main roles of the UIDAI are as follows:

    • Utilising the assistance of service providers to help with the development, design and deployment of Aadhaar applications.

    • Issuance of Aadhaar to Indian residents

    • Establish fixed standards with regards to the enrolment of residents as well as the authentication process

    • Recruitment of Registrars and providing approval to agencies dealing with resident enrolment among other things

    • To improve and enhance the objectives of the scheme by providing assistance in terms of service creation dependent on authentication of Aadhaar

    Search UID or EID by Name

    If you have forgotten your Aadhaar Number (UID) or Enrolment Number (EID), then you do not have to worry because the Indian Government has introduced various solutions that will help you find this information online easily.

    People can easily search their UID or EID by Name. To do so, they have to follow a few simple steps.

    Steps for Searching UID or EID by Name:

    • Visit the Resident Portal of UIDAI and click on ‘Find UID/EID’.
    • Choose UID or EID on the ‘You want to receive your lost’ section.
    • Enter details such as your name, registered mobile number and email id.
    • Enter the security code. The security code is displayed in the Captcha (the grey box).
    • Click on Get OTP.
    • Once you get the OTP, enter it in the ‘Enter OTP’ section and click on ‘Verify OTP’.

    An email containing the EID or UID details will be sent on your registered email id. You will receive the details via SMS on your registered mobile number as well.

    News About Unique Identification Authority

    • Aadhaar number is now mandatory for semester exams at AKTU

      Dr. Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) has announced that students in all the affiliated colleges will be required to submit their Aadhaar card number in order to submit their admission forms. The University is also planning to use digital devices to mark attendance. AKTU is also planning on developing a software through which the University can send question papers and answers to the colleges in a secured manner. The University is aiming at eliminating duplicate applications and avoid instances where fake identity cards are used for admission.

      5th April 2017

    • Telangana sees 100% Aadhaar coverage

      The government’s Aadhaar project for the targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies has seen a lot of success across the country. Of the 36 states and union territories in the country, eight states have claimed to have 100% Aadhaar coverage. One of India’s newly formed states, Telangana is among the eight states to have 100% Aadhaar coverage. Some states like Delhi and Haryana have over 100% coverage, which is attribute to the migration of people between states and the non-removal of Aadhaar numbers of the deceased. Presently, Aadhaar numbers are given to all ages, but Aadhaar cards are only issued to children above the age of five years. The central government is planning on reducing this age to 3 years.

      4th April 2017

    • UIDAI Stops Aadhaar Payments by Certain Firms Temporarily

      The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has stopped all Aadhaar transactions by certain firms temporarily because of instances of data misuse. These firms are Axis Bank Ltd, eMudhra and Suvidhaa Infoserve. The firms gave an explanation through a report for the multiple transactions that were made using their platforms using the same fingerprint. The UIDAI will scrutinize the reports and then take a suitable action. The misuse was noticed after 1 person had made biometric transactions 397 times in around 7 months. To make sure that data is protected, UIDAI will be updating all the existing biometric systems.

      9th March 2017

    • UIDAI has no process setup for aadhar deactivation

      Applying for an aadhaar card, and receiving a unique number is a streamlined process. However, as there is no process in place for deleting an aadhaar number on the UIDAI website, deactivating an aadhaar account for a dead person can be difficult. According to an UIDAI official, the request for deleting an aadhaar account has to be made by the Gram Panchayat or the GHMC. Once the UIDAI has been intimated of a person’s death by the Gram Panchayat or the GHMC, the unique number will be deleted, and not reassigned to anyone. Some GHMC officials claim that they haven’t been informed about the aadhaar deactivation process by the UIDAI so far.

      5th January 2017

    • The Centre gets High Court approval to accept student scholarship applications online

      The Centre got approval from the Delhi High Court to accept online applications from students for the national scholarship. Over 80 lakh students have applied online this year. Students have to give their UID to apply for scholarships on the government portal. The Centre was responding to a plea by the West Bengal-based Nasimuddin Educational and Charitable Trust. The government defended its stand to ask for online applications, and said that the process was a one-stop solution for various services, starting from student applications, application of receipt, and processing. This measure will ensure transparency, effective disposal, and disbursement of funds directly into the beneficiary’s account. In addition to timely disbursement of funds, it will also create a transparent database to avoid duplication, and coordination with different scholarship schemes.

      27th December 2016

    • Maharashtra government to make Aadhaar mandatory to avail state schemes

      The Maharashtra government has planned to pass a law that would make Aadhaar mandatory for the state’s residents to avail the benefits of the various government schemes. The Supreme Court had reiterated in its earlier orders that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for people who want to avail government schemes. However, the Maharashtra government has found a way around the SC order by assuring that people without Aadhaar card will not be denied any services. Instead, they will be given 3 months to get their Aadhaar card. Meanwhile, they can avail the benefits by providing other ID proofs such as ration card or voter ID card. The state government is insisting on the need for Aadhaar card in order to get rid of dubious beneficiaries who are cheating the state of crores of rupees every year.

      19th December 2016

    • Government to provide unique IDs to physically challenged individuals

      In a move that could benefit thousands of physically challenged individuals in the country, the central government has indicated that it could launch a new project exclusively for them. Under the project, physically challenged citizens would be provided unique ID cards. Individuals who wish to avail of these cards will have to provide basic information like their medical certificate, voter ID, Aadhar number, signature, and photographs. A website has been launched to ensure smooth functioning in the virtual space.

      All one needs to do is upload a copy of these documents on the website or send it to the relevant authorities by post. This card would ensure that physically challenged members of our society get all the benefits that have been designed for them, including the facilities which the constitution assures them.

      25th November 2016

    • Intelligence Agency cannot access Aadhaar Data

      Top government officials have stated that intelligence agencies will not have access to Aadhaar data. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has decided to retain seven years’ worth of data relating to Aadhaar-enabled transactions which has led to a lot of security concerns. Security experts believe that retaining data over such a long period of time could lead to agencies using the data for surveillance of individuals without sufficient reasons. ABP Pandey, CEO of UIDAI told Hindustan Times that these fears are completely misplaced. Security agencies will only be able to access the data in case of a suspected national security threat after receiving approval from an oversight committee. The Aadhar transaction data is highly encrypted and well-protected under Indian law. Sunil Abraham from the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS), a very vocal critic of the Aadhar, believes that storing the data in a centralized form could prove a security threat, instead the data should have used a digital signature to sign for proof, which would be stored by the authenticating agency and the card holder on a smart card.

      3rd November 2016

    • UIDAI launches drive to enroll remaining individuals for Aadhaar card

      A special drive will be started by The Unique Identification Authority of India from the coming week to enroll those individuals who have not yet procured Aadhaar in 22 States and Union Territories. These States include Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. This drive is conducted to ensure that no one is left without an Aadhaar card in any of the States.

      As part of this drive, residents of the above States who have not yet availed the Aadhaar card have been asked t register themselves on the official UIDAI website. This enrollment drive is for adults and will happen until November 15th. Once individuals complete a registration formality, they will be enrolled for their Aadhaar number on a priority basis. Communications and Information Technology Ministry said that, more than 106 crore Aadhaar numbers have been given as of now.

      18th October 2016

    • Customer Base of JIO Crosses 16 Million in a Month

      Having made its 4th generation service JIO available to everyone in September, Reliance industries on Monday announced that their customer base has crossed 16 million within a month. The company claims that this is the fastest growth achieved by any organization in telecom sector in the recent past. Reliance Jio has not procured 2G and 3G spectrums so far and is the only network provider in India operating in 4G-alone mode. The free internet and voice calling feature of Jio is what has attracted a large number of customers, and to make the sim card application process simpler the company has installed more than 3100 eKYC machines in the country. These free services were first made available to Reliance employees in December and it was paired with LYF phones when the same was launched in market.

      17th October 2016

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