Sunday, March 6, 2011

189 - Unique ID won’t reduce your paperwork - DNA by Amit Tripathi & Promit Mukherjee

Published: Monday, Aug 30, 2010, 0:20 IST
By Amit Tripathi & Promit Mukherjee | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

After the hype, the hard truth. The much-awaited unique identification (UID) number will not do away with the plethora of cards and supporting documents you need to establish your identity, be it for buying a house or a mobile connection.

“Now what happens is that if you go for some new service, they ask you for document A and for document A you need to have document B. In such cases, a UID number will help in breaking that circular documentation. If you have a UID number, then that acts as your basic identification proof, although it will not do away with any other document… everything continues, but identity verification will be done through Aadhar,” Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), told DNA.

You would still need your ration card, your voter ID card, etc, and it would be up to the person registering you to decide which proof to accept.

The 12-digit UID number will store basic demographic and identity information of an individual along with his/her biometrics (10 fingerprints, iris scan and photo).

And how do you get a UID number? Nilekani outlined three ways.
First, and somewhat ironically, you produce a set of documents to establish your identity.

The second source would be data from the National Population Register (NPR), which will be put on display at your gram panchayat or ward office, with details on where you live, etc.

“The third method we have incorporated is called the introducer approach wherein somebody can vouch for that person who wants a number. And this introducer will be appointed by us,” said Nilekani.

He reiterated that the UID number will enable faster financial inclusion of the underprivileged. “There are two things that we are trying. A UID number will give sufficient and adequate KYP (know your people), which will help in opening a no-frills bank account, a category of account which is meant for the poor who have less documents, like those under the NREGS.

“The no-frills account actually helps in financial inclusion. Also, Aadhar should be a KYP to get a mobile number. So we are working with the RBI, the finance department and the department of telecommunications to ensure that if someone has an Aadhar number, then he can get a bank account and a mobile phone connection, especially meant to empower the poor.”