Unique Identification Authority of India

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Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)
Aadhaar Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed January 2009[citation needed]
Jurisdiction Government of India
Headquarters New Delhi
Agency executives Vijay S Madan (Additional Charge), Chairman
Vijay S Madan, Director General
Website uidai.gov.in

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is an attached office of the Planning Commission of India, established to issue a Unique Identification Number ("Aadhaar") to residents of India who desire to have it. Aadhaar is planning on being made compulsory through indirect means and incentives. For example, there are plans to make it compulsory for passports. However, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory in its present form;[1] in any case it lacks legal or statutory authority,[2] and until the month of October 2014 both UIDAI and Aadhaar project were operating without any Parliamentary approval. Some civil liberties experts have suggested that Aadhaar project must be put on hold until concerns about its constitutional shortcomings and illegalities have been resolved.[3]


The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is the agency of the Government of India that is responsible for implementing Aadhaar. The UIDAI was formed under the Planning Commission by an executive order issued in January 2009. The agency was established in February 2009, and owns and operates the Unique Identification Number database. The agency provides a unique identification number to all persons residing in India without identity cards.[4] The agency will maintain a database of residents containing biometric and other data,[5] 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 as the first Chairman of the authority in June 2009[6] and resigned from the post in March 2014 to contest the Lok Sabha election. The then government extended the term of Vijay Madan,a 1981-batch IAS officer to continue as the director-general and mission director of UIDAI.[7] The Central Government has been unable to secure statutory approval for the authority after the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee as "unethical and violative of Parliament prerogatives".[8]

Budget allocation[edit]

About Rs. 35 billion (Rs. 3,500 crore) was spent on Aadhaar program from the beginning (January-2009) till September 2013 with enrollment of 50 crore (500 million) persons. It includes operating costs as well as capital expenditure (infrastructure of land, building, machinery).[9][10][11][12] Targeting 60 crore Aadhaar enrollments by 2014, agency has issued more than 40.29 crore Aadhaar numbers till August 2013.[13] Newly elected Govt under prime minister Narendra Modi in union budget has allocated Rs. 2039.64 crore for the fiscal year 2014-15 for the functioning of UIDAI and to enroll remaining population,[14] and has set a target of 100 crore enrollment at the ‘earliest’.[15]

Recent developments[edit]

It was speculated that the change in union government may stall the Aadhaar project, considering the opposition raised by several BJP leaders during election campaign, raising issues like immigrants availing Aadhaar.[16] On assuming charge new NDA government has scrapped the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India, stating that major decisions regarding this have already been taken.[16][17] The department of Information Technology has convened a meeting of the state government secretaries to decide the future course of action.[18] On first of July a meeting of former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani with prime minister Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley was reported to have revived the project as he convinced them with the prospects the ongoing project. Few days after that, prime minister set a new target of 100 crore enrollment at the ‘earliest’ and has increased the fund allocation for UIDAI from Rs 1,550 crore to Rs 2,039 crore.[16][19] In a recent development, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by prime minister has reviewed the project and has approved the Phase-V of Unique Identification project and has sanctioned Rs 1200 to accelerate enrollments in four new states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, which were previously covered by the scheme of NPR.[16] On receiving a ‘go-ahead’ from the new government, UIDAI is planning to launch a media campaign to trigger up the enrolment process and to weed out misconceptions about the project. Aadhaar, an identification number for residents is widely perceived as an identity card legitimizing citizenship of the country. The security of the data collected by the UIDAI is also among some major concerns. UIDAI has proposed to hire an advertising agency and is about to spend Rs 30 crore a year for media campaign.[16]

Aadhaar enrolment crossed the 80.32 crore mark (803.2 million) on March 29, 2015.[20]

AADHAARs Issued (state-wise)
Rank State / Union Territory Population AADHAARs Issued  % of Population
INDIA 1,210,593,422 803,278,225 66.35%
1 Uttar Pradesh 199,581,477 97,652,787 48.93%
2 Maharashtra 112,372,972 90,696,381 80.71%
3 Andhra Pradesh 84,665,533 82,702,222 97.68%
4 West Bengal 91,347,736 58,369,417 63.89%
5 Madhya Pradesh 72,597,565 48,813,460 67.24%
6 Tamil Nadu 72,138,958 48,341,879 67.01%
7 Karnataka 61,130,704 47,206,347 77.22%
8 Rajasthan 68,621,012 45,384,804 66.13%
9 Bihar 103,804,637 38,159,647 36.76%
10 Gujarat 60,383,628 36,685,040 60.75%
11 Kerala 33,387,677 30,747,539 92.09%
12 Jharkhand 32,966,238 26,945,623 81.74%
13 Punjab 27,704,236 24,731,444 89.27%
14 Odisha 41,947,358 23,136,314 55.16%
15 Haryana 25,753,081 19,879,263 77.19%
16 Delhi 17,353,235 16,736,708 96.44%
17 Chhattisgarh 25,540,196 8,897,354 34.84%
18 Himachal Pradesh 6,856,509 6,509,250 94.94%
19 Jammu and Kashmir 12,548,926 4,090,191 32.59%
20 Uttarakhand 10,116,752 3,772,549 37.29%
21 Tripura 3,671,032 3,248,628 88.49%
22 Goa 1,457,723 1,338,649 91.83%
23 Puducherry 1,244,464 1,153,971 92.73%
24 Manipur 2,721,756 1,049,247 38.55%
25 Chandigarh 1,054,686 960,797 91.10%
26 Nagaland 1,980,602 821,203 41.46%
27 Sikkim 607,688 558,182 91.85%
28 Dadra and Nagar Haveli 342,853 222,032 64.76%
29 Andaman and Nicobar Islands 379,944 166,028 43.70%
30 Daman and Diu 242,911 164,932 67.90%
31 Mizoram 1,091,014 240,531 22.04%
32 Assam 31,169,272 148,948 0.48%
33 Lakshadweep 64,429 55,490 86.13%
34 Arunachal Pradesh 1,382,611 44,399 3.21%
35 Meghalaya 2,964,007 17,927 0.60%
36 Others 0 3,155,590 -

Public distribution plans[edit]

Despite supreme court’s interim directive, Aadhaar was used to weed out fake ration cards, in Hyderabad district of Telengana state. It was reported that more than 63,000 white ration cards and 2,29,757 names from its database have been deactivated by the chief rationing officer, following an order by Civil Supplies Department of State government.[16] State of Andhra Pradesh has 15 lakh (1 500 000) bogus white ration cards which have been surrendered in a drive to seed them with Aadhaar numbers.[16] In the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, envisaged for financial inclusion of the entire population, main features of allotting an overdraft of Rs 5,000 and accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh is proposed to be limited to Aadhaar linked bank accounts. This will help avoiding duplication and restrict household availing the facility through multiple bank accounts.

In a move to ensure punctuality and to check absenteeism among government employees, the government has decided to install Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance systems (AEBAS) in all central government offices and has launched a website ‘attendance.gov.in’. Government has ordered to implement the initial phase at national capital by October 2014 and will be extended to all central government offices by March 2015. The device will have a fingerprint scanner along with a Wi-Fi internet connection. Eight AEBAS systems provided by UIDAI have been installed at six gates of Urban Development Ministry.[16] The database of all central government employees will be maintained centrally based on a six digit ID, based on the last six or first six digits of Aadhaar number.[16]

The Digital India programme envisaged to provide digital identity, real-time online transaction platform and digitalization of government documents and records of all the citizens to make them available on real-time basis to avail government services will be based on Aadhaar, the only digitally verifiable identity in the country as of now.[16] The blue print of the Digital India programme was approved by Union Cabinet envisages digital identity and government services delivered electronically by 2018.[16] The government plans to link SIM cards with Aadhaar numbers and use mobile phones for accessing services.[16]

UIDAI Headquarter allotment[edit]

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 the convenor of India Against Corruption. Complainant had claimed that 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.[21] 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.[22]

States currently covered under the project[edit]

Enrolment activities are being carried out exclusively by RGI for preparation of National Population Register (NPR) in the following States/Union territories. Residents of any other State/UT/district may note that they need not enroll under UIDAI if they have already enrolled under NPR.[23]


In Sept 2014, govt gave approval of the Phase-V of the UID to cover the additional following states by year 2015:[24]

Union territories[edit]


Supreme Court judgments[edit]

The Supreme Court of India passed an interim order on 23 September 2013 that no public services such as LPG can be denied to public due to lack of Aadhaar.[25]

The court, later on 24 March 2014, restrained the central government and the Unique Identification Authority of India from sharing data with any third party or agency, whether government or private, without the permission of the card-holder.[26]

Security concerns[edit]

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.[2][27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aadhaar In Its Present Form Has No Welfare Elements Attached To It Whatsoever But Is An E-Surveillance Project". Privacy Laws In India And Privacy Rules And Regulations In India. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Central government seeks statutory cover for UIDAI". The New Indian Express. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Supreme Court Of India Must Immediately Declare Aadhaar Project As Unconstitutional". Civil Liberties Protection In Cyberspace. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nilekani to give numbers, ministries to issue cards", The Economic Times, 16 July 2009, retrieved 18 July 2009 
  5. ^ "Nilekani takes charge, says first set of IDs in 12-18 months". The Times of India. 24 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "PIB Press Release". Pib.nic.in. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Two dozen officers indispensable for government due to functional requirements: DoPT". The Economic Times. 17 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Central government seeks statutory cover for UIDAI". The New Indian Express. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Punch in recipient's Aadhaar number to transfer funds". The Economic Times. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "One out of two Indians to have Aadhaar by mid-2014: Nandan Nilekani". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Expenditure of UIDAI for the year 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 (Up to September 2013)" (PDF). Unique Identification Authority of India. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Unique Identification project expenditure at Rs 3,062 crore as of July end". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "UIDAI issues more than 40 crore Aadhaar numbers till date". India TV. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Union Budget allocates Rs 2,039 crore for Aadhaar". India TV. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Nilekani succeeds in persuading Narendra Modi to continue with Aadhaar project". India TV. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Centre plans to scrap Aadhaar, 15 June 2014 
  17. ^ Modi Govt Drops Cabinet Panels on Aadhaar, Prices, 1 July 2014 
  18. ^ Aadhaar future at stake, govt seeks meeting with states, 17 June 2014 
  19. ^ Nandan Nilekani impresses Narendra Modi & Arun Jaitley, gets Aadhaar a lifeline, 24 July 2014 
  20. ^ https://portal.uidai.gov.in/uidwebportal/dashboard.do?lc=h
  21. ^ "UIDAI land allotment scam: DDA accepts IAC prayer to scrap the deal". Moneylife. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "Aadhaar base on BSNL land". MailToday. 22 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  23. ^ http://uidai.gov.in/where-to-enroll.html
  24. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/uid-phase-v-aadhaar-enrolments-in-four-states-get-cabinet-approval/
  25. ^ "How Nandan Nilekani Took Aadhaar Past The Tipping Point". Forbes India. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  26. ^ "Don’t exclude those without Aadhaar, share data: SC". The Indian Express. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "Dogs, trees and chairs have Aadhaar cards". The Times Of India. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "IB slams Uidai, says Aadhaar not credible as residence proof". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]