How much does numerical figures matter to a nation? Well, it can make a lot of difference when it is as ambitious a project as Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project.
One of the biggest reformist measures in form of UIDAI project under the Chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani is also expected to act as a stimulant to the economy in form of creating jobs and project opportunities for the IT companies.
UIDAI to Create Employment Opportunities
In fact, the UID project is estimated to create 3, 50,000 new jobs and commercial opportunities to the tune of $20 billion in the first 5 years and $10 billion annually thereafter, according to a CLSA report analyzing the impact of this mega-project.
The report further says, that the revenues opportunities will be spread across consulting, IT services, business process re-engineering, hardware and training maintenance. These all revenue generating opportunities could be the first phase of the mega-project over diverse sectors of operations.
As a beneficiary from the second phase, there are some more industries which stand to reap the gains from this identification project. Telecom companies stand to gain 60 million new subscribers bringing in $4.5 billion in mobile payments, and not to mention the handset manufacturers who stand to directly gain from the need of handsets to clip their new connections with.
The insightful report points out that as many as 125 million new bank accounts are likely to be created from the existing figure. The UIDAI and RBI are in talks to explore linking the UID number with bank accounts to enable cashless transactions. Transactions on a UID-enabled bank account functions, essentially, as a prepaid system.
UIDAI Contemplating Use of Iris Scan
There are people with a school of thought who believe that the projects run by government and its departments are either obsolete or are still in the stage of up gradation to match competent levels of technologies.
However, that’s not the case with the prestigious UID project, it has come out with a status paper on collecting iris biometrics.
Logically, there are apprehensions on the viability of the iris scan as it could prove to be an expensive affair where there are alternatives such as finger prints and face scan. Though, the accuracy involved in iris scanning can be more than 95%.
But, Nandan Nikelani has provided an able reason while allying such apprehensions. According to him iris technology is currently expensive due to low volume game involved in its usage. However, considering the large demand from India if this biometrics technology is adopted, the prices of iris devices and software will fall rapidly.
UIDAI branded as ‘AADHAAR’
Oops! How many times did I use the word UIDAI in above paragraphs?
The prestigious UIDAI project is renamed as ‘AADHAAR’, with its own new logo. Take this; Nandan Nilekani feels that UID itself is confusing. Some call it DUI while some others wrongly call it IUD. And, hence the new name Aadhaar is an effort to enable easy recall among the common people.
The new logo features a sun with fingerprint like design in the centre. The word Aadhaar as pronounced in Hindi language means ‘Support’ in English. In deed, the project will be a great enabler to the Indian social infrastructure as it evolves over a period of time.
The UID project will not only seek to address the flaws in the India’s social infrastructure but also generate indirect employment opportunities spread across various sectors of operations. The project aims to employ 800 million people in their workforce by 2020.
The IT department and UIDAI have agreed to come together for rolling out PAN cards with unique 16 digit Aadhaar numbers.