With about 20 crore people already enrolled, the government has set into motion the process to make Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhaar number integral part of major government schemes.
Nandan Nilekani led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has got mandate to provide an Aadhaar number to all 1.2 billion residents, of which about 200 million have been covered. The UIDAI has also successfully run pilot on Aadhaar based authentication services and transfer of funds to Aadhaar based bank accounts.
Taking the initiative into implementation stage, the Planning Commission this week issued an internal direction that different divisions will ensure integration of Aadhaar in delivery of schemes.
“The concerns divisions in the Planning Commission would look at the integration of Aadhaar number in delivery of services envisaged under the project if it is an individual beneficiary oriented project,” the office memorandum issued on Monday said.
The Central government runs several individual benefit schemes such as Integrated Child Development Scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee scheme, scholarship schemes, public distribution system, old age pension and schemes in health sector.
The total budget of these schemes was around Rs two lakh crore in the budget of 2012-13.
Not just the Central schemes, the panel want the state governments to gear up for Aadhaar roll-out, important to plug leakages in implementation of the government schemes.
The plan panel has also asked its state plan divisions to include Aadhaar in the plan proposals for different states. “It has been decided that the background paper would include a write-up on roll out and implementation of Aadhaar in the concerned state,” the circular read.
For implementation of Aadhaar, the state governments are required to create a single database of all beneficiaries and then link it with an Aadhaar number. Officials say many state governments have expressed inability to set up the data base citing financial constraints. As a way-out, the UIDAI has offered help to integrate the existing database of beneficiaries into one.
The circular sets the ball rolling for making Aadhaar applicable to all government schemes by end of 2013. All Indian residents are expected to get Aadhaar by middle of 2013.