Funds approved for phase two of unique identification number project

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The authority set up to collect data for the issue of tamper-proof biometric identity cards to each of India’s 1.17 billion citizens has been granted Rs.3,023 crore for the second phase of its implementation.

‘The estimated cost includes project components for issue of 100 million unique identity numbers by March 2011 and recurring establishment costs for the entire project phase of five years ending March 2014,’ an official statement said Thursday.

The additional funds were approved during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, belying some reports that the government was proposing to curtail its funding.

Aadhar is the brand name for the 12 digit unique identity number.

The project was established last year to primarily ensure inclusive growth by providing a form of tamper-proof identity to people above 15 years of age so that the delivery of government programmes can be directed better, ensuring effective governance.

The project, after implementing the first phase by March 2011, intends to issue some 600 million more numbers over the next three years using the services of both the government departments and agencies, as also banks, insurance companies and oil marketing firms.

Under phase one, the plan is for setting up necessary infrastructure, creating testing facilities for pilots projects, setting up standards, establishing a project management unit for monitoring and hiring of consultants for project reports.

Among these, the authority has established its headquarters at New Delhi and set up six out of the eight proposed Regional Offices. It has also set up a technology centre and a test data centre in Bangalore.

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