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Unique ID project renamed as AADHAAR

New Delhi: The Union Government”s ambitious Unique Identity project aiming to give an exclusive 16-digit number to all its citizens was renamed ”AADHAAR”

The new logo was unveiled by Nadan Nilekani, Chairman of the Unique Identity Authority (UIDAI) of India on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Nilekani said the biggest challenge the country faces today is of an identity divide.

“Ultimately it all boils down to the lack of effective identity. And this has become a big divide, the identity divide has separated the people from haves and have-nots and therefore this is a huge challenge that we face,” said Nilekani.

The Unique Identification Number project was renamed ”AADHAAR” as an effort to reach out to the common man, who might find the term UID confusing.

Nilekani also informed that the UID project was very critical to address the challenges of inclusive growth and effective government spending.

“Both in terms of the fact that we want to improve and optimise the way we spend money in the government as well as from the point of view of the access for the poor the UID becomes a very very important thing,” he said.

“Now this is becoming more important because we are seeing a lot of migration. We have people coming in from villages into cities. Again they have lack of identity therefore they are not able to access public services,” Nilekani added.

He expressed confidence that the UID would address challenges of inclusive growth and government spending.

“Having identity we believe and having something like a UID (Unique Identity card) is very critical to address these challenges both of inclusive growth and government spending,” Niekani said.

The UID would have both personal and biometric information of a person, such as, name, sex, date of birth, nationality, marital status, current and permanent address, occupation, photo and fingerprints.

The UID cards will be given to every individual above 15 years, including NRIs and foreigners.

The first UID is expected to be given out in early 2011 and a target to provide 600 million UIDs in the next five years has been set by UIDAI.

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