Mumbai: The Unique Identification
Authority of India (UIDAI) will seek to make the program
financially viable though it would not charge for basic
authentication, UIDAI Chairman, Nandan Nilekani, said here
"We will not charge anything for the basic
authentication. But we have plans to charge for value-added
services, like address verification by institutions like
banks, mobile companies among others", he said.
He pointed out that presently these companies are
spending a lot of money for manual verification. Through
UIDAI, they can verify certain details at a very low cost," he
He said UIDAI is planning to develop a `demand-driven
approach` to bring people to its centres for enrollment to
create database for the project.
"We are developing a demand-driven approach to bring
maximum people to us and will ensure that those who enroll
in this project will get some benefits (from the number),"
The Authority would partner with State Governments,
banks, income-tax and passport offices, among othere, Nilekani
said, adding "we plan to make this enrollment a bi-product for
getting some other services."
The UIDAI is planning to build a platform for online
ID authentication, he said.
"So far, no other country in the world has come out with
an online ID authentication programme. The biometric features
of the UID card can be used for online ID authentication. This
is a platform for innovation which will make it easy for
people to get services," Nilekani said.
Apart from verifying a person, the number does not give
any right to anybody, he explained.
"Our mission is to verify a person. More than that the
number gives nobody any right. But this number is essential
for every service. We will make sure that the biometric
signature is unique," he said.
Referring to the privacy of people, he pointed out, "we
will make sure that there are institutional, legal, social and
technical safeguards. Nobody can read the data base. It can
just verify and would contain only the basic information."