The UIDAI stands for Unique Identification Authority of India. It is an agency of the Government of India, which is responsible for providing a unique identity number to every citizen of India.
The Unique Identification Authority of India is an agency of the Government of India, which was set up to implement the ‘Aadhaar’ scheme of the UPA government. Though the organization has no legal backing or an authority of its own, it’s a part of the Planning Commission of India. Mr. Nandan Nilekani is the Chairman of UIDAI, and was so appointed in June 2009. Nilekani himself is a Cabinet minister in the government, and an integral part of the Planning Commission as well.
The Aadhar scheme is all about linking the people of India with a specific number that will be unique to their identity. The scheme was originally implemented as also being the provision for a citizen’s identity and address proof. However, many questions rose on its feasibility and its security concerns, which limited its use to being just an identity number that can be linked with other necessities such as a person’s bank account, or his LPG gas connection.
Nilekani, who holds a Cabinet position in the government, has received flak from the opposition and others for an expensive implementation of UIDAI. Reportedly, the whole (UID), or the Aadhaar scheme has cost the government a whopping 35 million (3,500 Crore) Rupees. The cost is inclusive of capital intensive assets such as infrastructure, land, building, machinery, etc. The UIDAI has also been projected in a dubious light by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of India, which claims that anyone with an Aadhaar number can introduce others without any documentation to get the identity number, which makes it vulnerable to terrorism and other issues.
Therefore, the UIDAI has not been as rampant as it was originally estimated to be, but it is duly on course to achieve its mission of delivering identity numbers to about 60 Crore people of India.