2017  
  2016  
  2015  
  2014  
  2013  
  2012  
  2011  
  2010  
  2009  
  2008  
  2007  
  2006  
Is unique Identification number scheme is unique at all?
Neetu Banga | 01 Sep 2010

In order to enable the next phase of growth, the Unique Identification Number project will play the role of a catalyst and enable the coutnry to tackle domestic issues of corruption, inefficiency, lack of strong enforcement of rule of law.

Even as the census exercise takes off another big ticket project, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s ambitious plan of issuing biometric –enabled number, called ‘Aadhaar’ is getting ready for the launch. The project aims to provide unique identification to India’s 1.2 billion people.  

In order to enable the next phase of growth, the Unique Identification Number project will play the role of a catalyst and enable the coutnry to tackle domestic issues of corruption, inefficiency, lack of strong enforcement of rule of law and internal security etc.
 
India is ranked 74th most corrupt country in the world by the International Corruption Index. The corruption practice even left India in shame position recently ongoing preparation of Commonwealth Games. Even International companies often mention corruption and government inefficiency as reasons of not taking interest in investment in country projects.

But the government supercilious attitude to equip all citizens with biometric card is just a public relations exercise. Our government has theft the idea of developed countries, where the e-Government Readiness Index is success in lowering corruption and having a high quality of life as measured by the Human Development Index. Mostly e-Government implementations depend on positive and accurate identification of their citizens and interconnection of databases and information across government bodies and services.

 
It is step towards creating the whole  infrastructure for e-Government services in India. But here question is that how many government departments working properly on e-Governance system? In India, mostly government department works are on their segregation, each having their own databases with no linkage to others department databases. Above all consistently Indian government website databases are not in good shape with problems of data entry, duplicate entries, dead entries, and more which make data reconciliation difficult. Most difficult task is project implementation which requires tremendous resources, effort and impossible in country like India where people take the laws in their hand. The project itself is less about technology, and more about the politics. It could potentially lead to large scale abuse in country in the absence of effective legislation providing adequate safeguards to prevent misuse.

What about our power failures? The lack of stable 24 hour power supply across the country will hinder access to the central databases for authentication. What will be achieved by computerization of operation unless it brings transparency and accountability? Government must address all issues to citizens satisfactorily to ensure it will not create more problems than it solves. The Central and State governments must enact legislation for adequate safeguards and operating processes for sharing of the databases amongst states, before the Unique IDs are issued. Failing this, there will be few users and takers for the scheme.