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UID to benefit common people: Manmohan
Published on 30 Sep. 2010 12:32 AM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the Unique Identification Number (UID) was a major step his government had taken to benefit the common man.
Handing over the first set of UID cards at Tembli village here, the prime minister said: “It is one of our ambitious projects to give an unique identity to every citizen of India. This scheme will enable the poor, the backward classes and women to take advantage of our other schemes.”
Addressing around 500 people, he said: “This is one scheme that will give you an identity, a scheme through which you can make your voice heard.”
Singh said the scheme will help take banking facilities to the remotest Indian villages. “This scheme will lay the foundation for facilitating you to avail all other government welfare schemes.”
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi attended the function.
Singh and Gandhi earlier handed over UID cards - called ‘Aadhar’ - to a dozen villagers.
The UID scheme, by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), will be implemented nationwide.
“I congratulate UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani and his team for launching a successful venture,” Singh said.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said it was a matter of pride for Nandurbar and Maharashtra that a prestigious national scheme was first implemented there.
Singh congratulated Chavan for taking the initiative to get the first set of UID in Maharashtra.
“It is a matter of pride for Maharashtra. This state is one of the developing states in India. It is an inspiration for many other states. I am sure this initiative will set an example for other states,” he said.
The UIDAI scheme, announced in July 2009, will provide an unique identity to each Indian over the next five years.
After a person is allotted an UID, his/her identity linked to biometrics would be established to uniquely identify the person.
The UID would authenticate the identity claim of a person and have wide-ranging applications.
“It has been the dream of my late husband Rajiv Gandhi to utilise IT to integrate the nation.
This is the first step towards his dream of India in the 21st century,” Gandhi said.
“I am glad that the socially backwards will be able to avail various programmes through this project,” she added.
Present on the occasion were Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman M.S. Ahluwalia and Nandan Nilekani.
Some facts about
the UID project:

1. Aadhaar (the UID number) is not mandatory. People can choose not to be a part of the exercise.
2. It is not restricted to Indian citizens only and is meant for residents of India, irrespective of their citizenship. An Aadhaar card does not establish citizenship of India, it is meant for identification.
3. Even people without proper identification documents can apply for Aadhaar. Authorised individuals, who already have an Aadhaar, can introduce residents who don’t possess any documents to establish their identity to enable them to receive their Aadhaar. 4. Aadhar will not replace other identification documents such as ration card or passport.
5. The UIDAI will collect only biometric and demographic information about an individual and will not ask for info on caste, religion or language.
6. Date of Birth is optional (for people who don’t remember/know their date of birth) and approximate age will suffice.
7. Transgenders have been included in the options under gender and they need not classify themselves as male or female.
8. Residents of India have an option to link their UID number to their bank accounts.
9. To get an UID number residents will have to go to the nearest Aadhaar enrollment camp, details of which will be published in the local media. Residents will have to carry along certain documents, mentioned in the advertisement. Residents will also be photographed and have their fingerprints and iris scanned. The Aadhaar numbers will be issued within 20-30 days.
10. The draft National Identification Authority of India bill has provisions against impersonation, providing false information and for protection of personal information collected by the UIDAI.
Violations can attract penalties in the form of fines of up to Rs 1 crore and imprisonment extending up to a life term.

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