"In the next 12 to 18 months we will be issuing the first set of unique identification numbers", he told reporters at his new office in Yojana Bhawan.
These numbers, he added, will not only provide an identity to citizens and will also help them in obtaining benefits of government scheme and also undertake with ease other activities like opening bank accounts and availing electricity connection.
"It is difficult to open a bank account... it is difficult to get an electricity connection. We hope if we can give every one an identity, basically the number, and that number is authenticated throughout the country...he can use is wherever he goes", Nilekani.
The IT icon further said that he would set up a team, picking up best available talent from government as well as private sector, to prepare the database for every resident.
The government had earlier appointed Nilekani the chairman of the authority with a cabinet rank and allocated Rs 120 crore for the ambitious project in the current fiscal.