Unique Identification Authority of India
|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (January 2014)|
|Formed||January 2009|
|Jurisdiction||Government of India|
|Agency executives||, Chairman
Vijay Madan, Director General
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is an attached office of the Planning Commission of India to issue Unique Identification Number "Aadhaar" to residents of India who desire to have it. However, Aadhaar was made compulsory through both direct and indirect means and incentives and it lost its voluntary character long before. Aadhaar also lacks legal or statutory authority as of now  and till the month of August 2014 both UIDAI and Aadhaar project are operating without any Parliamentary approval. As a result the Supreme Court of India held that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for availing public services in India. Some experts have even suggested that Aadhaar project must be scrapped by the Narendra Modi government. They also believe that the Supreme Court of India must scrap the Aadhaar project till it is clear of its shortcomings and illegalities.
To overcome the legal impediment against Aadhaar, Narendra Modi government (2014-2019) is in the process of bringing a legislation to overcome the legal scrutiny by the supreme court. However, there is no progress in this direction till 16 August 2014 and some believe that not even a single rupee must be spent by Narendra Modi government till Aadhaar project and UIDAI are made legal and constitutional. As a result the position on the date (16 August 2014) is that Aadhaar is operating without any legal framework and Parliamentary oversight.
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 was established in February 2009, and owns and operates the Unique Identification Number database. The Unique Identification Authority of India has been established under the Planning Commission by an executive order issued in January 2009. The agency provides 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 as the first Chairman of the authority in June 2009 and has resigned from the post in March 2014 to contest lok sabha election. The then government has then extended the term of Vijay Madan,a 1981-batch IAS officer to continue as the director-general and mission director of UIDAI. The Central Govt 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".
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 persons. It includes operating costs as well as capital expenditure (infrastructure of land, building, machinery). Targeting 60 crore Aadhaar enrollments by 2014, agency has issued more than 40.29 crore Aadhaar numbers till August 2013. 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, and has set a target of 100 crore enrollment at the ‘earliest’.
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 judgments
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.
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.
- List of Indian states by Aadhaar generation
- National Population Register
- National identification number
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