IT czar Nandan Nilekani intends to deliver the first unique identity number within the next 18 months and cover half the country’s billion plus population in four years.
The Prime Minister’s Council on Unique Identification (UID) Authority approved Nilekani’s strategy paper at its first meeting on Thursday.
Nilekani, appointed chairman of the UID Authority two months back, told the council that seeking the number will be optional in the first phase — to be implemented in the next four years — but would be mandatory thereafter.
Aiming at making the scheme pro-poor, Nilekani had also set the target of rolling out first set of unique numbers in 12 to 18 months to cover beneficiaries under government schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Public Distribution System and Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojana (National Health Insurance Scheme) in the first phase.
The strategy paper proposed by Nilekani, which got “in principle” approval from the council, had set a target of 60 crore (600 million) India to get unique identification number within four years.
However, residents below 16 years of age will also have to provide biometric details of their parents. The system will be developed in a way which automatically converts their UID numbers independent of their parents once they crossed the age limit, a UID official, who was not willing to be quoted, said.