This is how your UID number will look like..


We have been eagerly following the developments on one of the biggest projects that India Government has undertaken – The Unique Identification Project.

The success of this project will positively affect literally every area of life of an Indian citizen. It will help curb corruption and facilitate GDP growth to a very large extent.

It has been couple of years since this project has been announced and we could see pilot implementation starting as early as next year.

If you are curious about what this number will look like, and how it will function, read on… UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) recently released a White paper on UID Number scheme, and I must say I am quite impressed with what is proposed in this paper.

UIDAI have not only taken a long term view, but also approached the numbering scheme scientifically, while also considering the security factors that are going to be to the success of this project. I am going to try and give you some of the interesting features of how your UID will work.

Every person residing in India will have a Unique Identification Number, even if he is a foreign citizen. Biometric identification system and checks would be used to ensure that each individual is assigned one and only UID and the process of generating a new UID would ensure that duplicates are not issued as valid UID numbers.

Now, coming up with UID scheme is no doubt a challenge given the size of our country and also ensuring that the numbering scheme lasts for many many years (probably few centuries) to come.

From Security perspective, UID has to be such that it is not easily identifiable. For Eg: The Social Security number of a person in U.S can be identified (with little expertise) based on their birth-date and from the location at which it was issued. Whereas in case of UID, it is going to be a random number which will be virtually impossible for a person to identify. The UID approach is designed on an on-line system, where data is stored centrally and authentication is done online.

UID number to an individual will be issued to an individual by capturing and storing some of these biometric markers that will uniquely identify residents and hence assign unique numbers to them and authenticate them accurately.

The UID number will comprise of 12 digits (11 + 1 check sum). These 11 digits allow upto 100 billion number space which can last us for centuries.

Here is look at how a 12 digit UID may look


To know more about the format of this 12 digit UID scheme, you can read this PDF released by UIDAI Authority.

  1. M.K.Sen says

    Please let me know the permutation used in Verhoeff check digit scheme used in Aadhaar number.

  2. […] response to UID registrations till now has been quite luke-warm at best and one of the main reasons has been accessibility to UID […]

  3. pandya paresh Indravadan says

    popatlal ni chaili, Near Satyamnagar, Amraiwadi, Ahmedabad-380026.

  4. Ravi Kumar Yadaw says

    sir i want to make my UID NO. because in my state walefare department always give priority for whome which person having UID no. for scholarship so please give me some idea about UID no. how it will make

  5. Himanshu Pandey says

    I like that UID number.

  6. Raghuthaman says

    A basic problem with random numbers is system remains as “private” and it will never grow as “a publicly liked working system”.

    A unique 12-digits number is to be used by its owner for many parsonnel identifications (each day). Using a random 12-digits number repeatedly and accurately is wishful thinking! How to do it is a serious question.

    American manner does not ensure ‘security’ may be true. It is simpler, which is prime quality of a UID number system.

    When a unique identification order is imagined in a manner all people of earth will say YES to it, UID numbering is on right track.

    Said ‘YES’ can be endorced only after knowing how each digit has been used to identify a related person, how simple it is to remember in everyday life and how ‘a related identification order will remain for ever’ (like zero of ancient Indian number application)!

  7. Altaf Rahman says

    Now I understand how much research went into making this a foolproof system. A truely massive programme if and when it comes into being.
    Also I noted that its not a serial number but a random number generated by computer using certain algorithm. So auctioning of fancy numbers is not a possibility.

  8. Arun Prabhudesai says


    UID will be based on 11 digits only, and the 12th digit is the check-sum number.

    However, I am not going to get into maths :) I am quite weak at it…however, when a person dies, there will be a gestation period of around 10 or 15 years after which, the number will be available again.

    Even, if a particular number has not been used for more than a certain period (again 10 – 15 yrs), it will be removed from the system and person will have to apply again.

    I strongly suggest you read the pdf (link given in the last line of the blog) which talks about all these in quite detail.

  9. Altaf Rahman says

    Thank you teacher :-)
    I stand corrected. Arun was mentioning 11 digits which is 100 billions. So my revised figures are from 00,000,000,001 to 99,999,999,999.
    I am greatly relieved as 900 billion numbers are taken off my back :-)

  10. Altaf Rahman's Math Teacher says

    999,999,999,999 is approx trillion

  11. Altaf Rahman says

    Pardon me for veering of the seriousness of the subject. If the 12 digit number is to have 100 billion combinations, the numbers must start from 000,000,000,001 and end with 999,999,999,999. If they are to last centuries means the number once given can not be allotted to others. That means some one will get the first number i.e. 000,000,000,001. I assume they will give it to either the president or prime minister of the time when the scheme is launched. The person will die happily knowing that he held a truely unique number irrespective of whether he has done for the nation something or not.
    Similarly I can not help but go of the essence of the subject in who gets fancy numbers :-)
    In my state, the RTO auctions fancy numbers for the vehicle number plates :-) I assume its a national phenomenon. I assume its true of mobile numbers too.
    This gives government a unique source of income by auctioning fancy UID numbers. I hope they can recover the cost of this whole excersize from fancy number auctions. Please do not underestimate the madness of Indians who are terribly superstitious about numbers :-)
    Pls dont shread me to pieces for such silly comment. Just that I am in a jolly mood to think out of box. Cheers………

  12. balaji yadhav says

    This is an ambitious and a very necessary project for India.It almost unilaterally eliminates forgery and delay in giving the necessary documentary of anything involved with the govt.This in the long run will result in a huge cost saving exercise but the security of this huge digital database should be given paramount importance.Probably it is time to give our supercomputers(India is one of the few countries in the world which has advanced supercomputer systems) the responsibility of creating a complex security network of the database in such a way that no discrepancy is found.
    As Indians we all should fully co-operate with this endeavor and be there to give all the requisite information to the Census.

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