Unique Identification Authority of India
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
|Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)|
UIDAI (Aadhaar UIDAI new logo)
|Jurisdiction||Government of India (Union Government)|
|Agency executives||Nandan Nilekani, Chairman
Vijay Madan, Director General
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is an attached office of the Planning Commission of India to issue Unique Identification Number "Aadhar" to citizens of India who desire to have it. It lacks legal or statutory authority at the present time.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is an agency of the Government of India responsible for implementing the AADHAAR scheme, a unique identification project. The agency, which has no legal backing, was established in February 2009, and will own and operate the Unique Identification Number database. The agency aims to provide a unique identification number to all persons resident in India, but not identity cards. The agency will maintain a database of residents containing biometric and other data, and is headed by a chairman, who holds a cabinet rank. The UIDAI is part of the Planning Commission of India. Nandan Nilekani was appointed the first Chairman of the authority in June 2009. The UID program has been criticized, including former Defense and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh who famously said "I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote".
Budget, cost and benefits
About Rs. 35 billion (Rs.3,500 crore) was spent on Aadhaar program from beginning (January-2009) till September2013 with enrollment of 50 crore persons. It includes operating costs as well as capital expenditure (infrastructure of land, building, machinery).
UIDAI Headquarter allotment
The statutory board of enquiry for Delhi Development Authority has dumped the change of land use for UIDAI's proposed headquarters on a petition by India Against Corruption's national convenor Sarbajit Roy. Roy had claimed the prime property in central New Delhi worth Rs. 900 crore was leased to UIDAI at trifling price. Currently UIDAI operates out of offices in New Delhi's Connaught Circus. Since UIDAI is not an authority, its nodal agency, the Planning Commission, is responsible for providing UIDAI's infrastructure. The land is owned by 2 financially ailing telecoms, BSNL and MTNL, which are locked in a court dispute.
Supreme Court Judgment
The AADHAAR number is not recognized as a legal proof of residence due to issues with the data protection. India's Intelligence Bureau claims anyone with an Aadhaar number can introduce others without any documentation to get the identity number, which makes it vulnerable to terrorism and other issues.
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