New Delhi: Indians will get their unique identification number from post offices.
An agreement to this effect was signed in Delhi on Friday by the department of post and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is in charge of the mammoth project.
"This is not a tactical but a strategic partnership where UIDAI will leverage the existing infrastructure of (post offices) to reach out to the masses," said Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI.
The department will also open a request for quotation in the next few days to finalise the agency to manage the infrastructure for registration and distribution of the UID numbers across post offices.
The UIDAI was established in February 2009 to operate the unique identification number database.
It will provide a unique number with associated identifying biometric data and photographs to all Indians. The ID aims to prevent rigging in elections and check widespread embezzlement of government subsidies and poverty alleviation programmes.
Post offices are spread across India and is the only organisation that can provide a comprehensive solution to the requirements of the UIDAI, an official statement said.
The postal deparment signed its first agreement with the UIDAI April 30, 2010 to cover printing of communication carrying the UID number addressed to resident.
This facility is expected to print and dispatch about one crore UID letters upto March 31, 2011. In 2011-12, the postal department is expected to print and deliver about 12 crore UID letters.
More than 3,700 post offices in the country have been identified to become enrolment stations.
Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, who was present on the occasion, said that this partnership will empower people.
"The empowerment will take place through post offices, we want to move in step with the authority," said Sibal.