‘UID tech can be leveraged to transform India’

The government`s Unique Identity Programme (UID) will have some major positive economical and social implications, according to global consultancy firm Deloitte.

New Delhi: The government`s Unique Identity
Programme (UID) will have some major positive economical and social
implications, with ample opportunity to leverage the
technology far more ambitiously and intensively, according to
global consultancy firm Deloitte.

"The UID programme will provide the opportunity to
leverage technology far more ambitiously and intensively and
build truly inclusive, transformational infrastructure. This
will improve the overall productivity of our economy,"
Deloitte India Principal Economist Shanto Ghosh said.

According to Deloitte, the UID opens up a vast array of
new possibilities for our technological future and offers a
foundation on which a host of applications can be built.

Elaborating it with an example, Ghosh says the UID number
of each resident can be linked to a bank account through which
the government can provide direct services, such as health and
education, through digital vouchers and cash benefits.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, headed by
Nandan Nilekani, will issue the first set of 12-digit unique
identification numbers between August, 2010, and February,
2011.

Thereafter, 600 million UID numbers will be issued in the
next five years. Apart from providing identity, the UID will
enable better delivery of services and effective governance.

The UID project is primarily aimed at ensuring inclusive
growth.

Citing various media reports, Ghosh said the UID
programme will create 350,000 new jobs and USD 20 billion of
economic output over the next five years.

On the importance of UID on the social front, Ghosh said
a large section of funds earmarked for social sector projects
"leak" out in the form of corruption and benefits trickling to
the wrong population group. "The UID programme will plug that
gap."

The PDS system is considered largely ineffective because
there are no checks and balances to evaluate the functioning
of the programmes. This will be vastly improved under the UID,
he added.

PTI

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