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 , Chairman
Vijay Madan, Director General
Website uidai.gov.in

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. It lacks legal or statutory authority at the present time.[1]

Description[edit]

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 Central Govt has been unable to secure statutory approval for the authority after the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 was "trashed" by the Parliamentary Standing Committee as "unethical and violative of Parliament prerogatives".[2] The agency provides a unique identification number to all persons resident in India, but not identity cards.[3] The agency will maintain a database of residents containing biometric and other data,[4] 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.[5] The UID program has been criticized, including by former Defense and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh who has said "I don't agree to Nandan Nilekani and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote".[6]

Budget, cost and benefits[edit]

About Rs. 35 billion (Rs. 3,500 crore) was spent on Aadhaar program from the beginning (January-2009) till September 2013 with enrolment of 50 crore persons. It includes operating costs as well as capital expenditure (infrastructure of land, building, machinery).[7][8][9][10]

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 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.[11] 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.[12]

Impediments[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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[1][15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Central government seeks statutory cover for UIDAI". The New Indian Express. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Central government seeks statutory cover for UIDAI". The New Indian Express. 25 Sept 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nilekani to give numbers, ministries to issue cards", The Economic Times, 16 July 2009, retrieved 18 July 2009 
  4. ^ "Nilekani takes charge, says first set of IDs in 12-18 months". The Times of India. 24 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "PIB Press Release". Pib.nic.in. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Indo-China: ‘Mistakes in understanding border issues has led to disputes’". ZeeNews. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Punch in recipient's Aadhaar number to transfer funds". The Economic Times. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "One out of two Indians to have Aadhaar by mid-2014: Nandan Nilekani". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Unique Identification project expenditure at Rs 3,062 crore as of July end". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "UIDAI land allotment scam: DDA accepts IAC prayer to scrap the deal". Moneylife. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Aadhaar base on BSNL land". MailToday. 22 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "How Nandan Nilekani Took Aadhaar Past The Tipping Point". Forbes India. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Don’t exclude those without Aadhaar, share data: SC". The Indian Express. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Dogs, trees and chairs have Aadhaar cards". The Times Of India. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "IB slams Uidai, says Aadhaar not credible as residence proof". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]