Hi-tech multi-purpose national identity cards, carrying 16 personal details and a unique identification number, were launched in the capital on Saturday.
The first set of the micro-chip based cards were distributed to residents of Pooth Khurd area in North Delhi by Registrar General of India DK Sikri.
The North Delhi area is one of the 20 localities selected for the pilot project on the multi-purpose national identity cards.
The identity cards, issued to citizens above 18 years of age, are secured electronic devices to be used for providing a credible individual identification system for improving the citizen-government interface.
It is a part of the government's initiative to develop the processes for collection and management of database of citizens as well as for smart card technology, officials said.
The making of the card involves a complex process and several technological issues -- from collecting personal data, photographs and finger biometry to integration of data and verification of citizenship of each and every citizen.
The government decided in November, 2003 to implement the pilot project in selected areas of 12 states and one union territory.
The pilot project is currently underway in selected sub-districts of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry.
The identity card given to each citizen has a micro-processor chip with a memory of 16 KB which is secured against tampering and cloning.