PM constitutes council for Identification Authority


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday constituted a council under his chairmanship to advice the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and ensure better coordination between ministries, stakeholders and partners.

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“The council is expected to advice the UIDAI on the programme, methodology and implementation to ensure coordination between ministries, departments, stakeholders and partners,” said a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

It will also identify specific milestones for early completion of the project.

Nandan Nilekani, the 54-year-old co-founder of Infosys Technologies, took charge as the chairman of the UIDAI last month and started work on the government’s ambitious project to provide a single identity number and card to each of the country’s 1.17 billion people.

The main task of the authority would be to create a database that will help in issuing unique identity cards.

Members of the newly appointed council are Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sharad Pawar, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister C.P. Joshi, Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani.

The main purpose of this ambitious project would avert the need for multiple proofs of identity for citizens while availing any government service, or for private needs like opening bank accounts or seeking telephone connections.

It is also expected to enhance national security by helping to identify illegal aliens.

Nilekani was personally selected by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to head the project with the rank of a cabinet minister.