Funding of Phase II of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Scheme approved
The Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (CC-UIDAI) today approved the commencement of Phase II of the scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 3023.01 crore. Of this, an amount of Rs. 477.11 crore would be towards recurring establishment expenditure and Rs. 2,545.90 crore would be towards non-recurring project related expenditure.
The estimated cost includes project components for issue of 10 crore UID numbers by March 2011 and recurring establishment costs for the entire project phase of five years ending March 2014.
The first set of 10 crore UID numbers are expected to be issued between August 2010 and March 2011. Thereafter, 600 million UID numbers are expected to be issued within the next three years. The UID project would provide unique numbers to all residents of India.
The UIDAI proposes to collect the demographic and biometric attributes of residents through various agencies of the Central and the State Governments and others who, in normal course of their activities, interact with the residents. These entities are described as "Registrars" of the UIDAI. Examples of such Registrars at the State level are the Departments of Rural Development (for MNREGA) and Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs (for PDS). At the central level these entities could be Banks, LIC and Oil Marketing Companies. As the NPR exercise is also going on, the Registrar General of India will also be an important Registrar for the purpose of collection of demographic and biometric data for the project.
The UID project, established last year, is primarily aimed at ensuring inclusive growth by providing a form of identity to those who do not have any identity. It seeks to provide UID numbers to the marginalised sections of society and thus would strengthen equity. Apart from providing identity, the UID will enable better delivery of services and effective governance.
The Phase 1 of the scheme comprised (i) Setting up necessary infrastructure for offices at headquarters and regional headquarters, (ii) Creating testing facilities for running the Pilots and Proof of Concept (PoC) experiments, (iii) Initial work of creating standards in various areas of operations, (iv) Setting up of a Project Management Unit (PMU) and hiring of consultants for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for various components of the project. The Phase I proposal was approved by the SFC in its meeting held in November 2009 and by the Finance Minister subsequently.
The UIDAI has since established its Headquarters at New Delhi and six out of the eight Regional Offices. The UIDAI Technology Centre has been set up and a test data centre has also been hired at Bengaluru. The standards for various biometric attributes, demographic data standards and verification procedures have been formulated. The Proof of Concept experiments undertaken in three States have been completed in June 2010. Thus the objectives of Phase I of the scheme have been largely achieved.