Public as well as private sector agencies across the country typically require proof of identity before providing individuals with services. But till date, there remains no nationally accepted, verified identity number that both residents and agencies can use with ease and confidence. As a result, every time an individual tries to access a benefit or service, they must undergo a full cycle of identity verification. Different service providers also often have different requirements in the documents they demand, the forms that require filling Out, and the information they collect on the individual.
Such duplication of effort and ‘identity silos’ increase overall costs of identification, and cause extreme inconvenience to the individual. This approach is especially unfair to Indian’s poor and underprivileged residents, who usually lack identity documentation, and find it difficult to meet the costs of multiple verification processes. There are clearly, immense benefits from a mechanism that uniquely identifies a person, and ensures instant identity verification. The need to prove identity only once will bring down transaction costs for the poor.
A clear identity number would also transform the delivery of social welfare orgasm by making them more inclusive of communities now cut off from such benefits due to their lack of identification. It would enable the government to shift from indirect to direct benefits, and help verify whether the intended beneficiaries actually receive funds/subsidies. A single, universal identity number will also be transformational in eliminating fraud and duplicate identities, since individuals will no longer be able to represent themselves differently to different agencies.
This will result in significant savings to the state exchequer. The I-JIHAD – evolving an approach to identity The Government of India undertook an effort to provide a clear identity to residents first in 1 993, with the issue of photo identity cards by the Election Commission. Subsequently in 2003, the Government approved the Multipurpose National Identity Card (MANIC). The Unique Identification Authority of India (SAID) was established in January 2009, as an attached office to the Planning Commission.
The purpose of the AID is to issue a unique identification number (KID) to all Indian residents that is (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way. The Dial’s approach will keep in mind the learning from the government’s previous efforts at issuing identity. Unique Identification Authority of India 2 The SAID will be created as a statutory body under a separate legislation to fulfill its objectives.
The law will also stipulate rules, regulations, processes and protocols to be followed by different agencies partnering with the SAID in issuing and verifying unique identity numbers. Features of the SAID model The Unique Identification number (KID) will only provide identity: The Sisal’s purview will be limited to the issue of unique identification numbers linked to person’s demographic and biometric information. The KID will only guarantee identity, not rights, benefits or entitlements. The LUCID will prove identity, not citizenship: All residents in the country can be issued a unique ID.
The KID is proof of identity and does not confer citizenship. A pro-poor approach: The AID envisions full enrolment of residents, with a focus on enrolling Indian’s poor and underprivileged communities. The Registrars that the AID plans to partner with – the ENRAGE, ROSY, and PDP will help bring large numbers of the poor and underprivileged into the KID system. The LUCID method of authentication will also improve service delivery for the poor. Enrolment of residents with proper verification: Existing identity databases in India are fraught with problems fraud and duplicate/ghost beneficiaries.
To prevent this from seeping into the SAID database, the ALASDAIR plans to enroll residents into its database with proper verification of their demographic and biometric information. This will ensure that the data collected is clean from the start of the program. However, much of the poor and undeserved population lack identity documents and the KID may be the first form of identification they have access to. The AID will ensure that the Know Your Resident (KERRY) standards don’t become a barrier for enrolling the poor, and will devise suitable procedures to ensure their inclusion without compromising the integrity of the data.
A partnership model: The AID approach leverages the existing infrastructure of government and private agencies across India. The ALASDAIR will be the regulatory authority managing a Central Identities Data Repository (CIDER), which will issue Olds, update resident information, and authenticate the identity of residents as required. In addition, the SAID will partner with agencies such as central and state apartments and private Sector agencies who will be ‘Registrars’ for the AID. Registrars will process I-KID applications, and connect to the CIDER to De- duplicate resident information and receive I-KID numbers.
These Registrars can either be enrollees, or will appoint agencies as enrollees, who will interface with people seeking DID numbers. The Authority will also partner with service providers for authentication. The SAID will emphasize a flexible model for Registrars: The Registrars will retain significant flexibility in their processes, including issuing cards, pricing, expanding KERRY (Know Your Resident) verification, collecting demographic data on residents for their specific requirements, Unique Identification Authority of India 3 and in authentication.
The AID will provide standards to enable Registrars maintain uniformity in collecting certain demographic and biometric information, and in basic KERRY. These standards have been finalized by the Demographic Data Standards and Verification Procedures Committee and Biometric Standards Committees which was constituted by the ALASDAIR constituted. Enrolment will not be mandated: The AID approach will be a demand-driven one, where the unifies and services that are linked to the LUCID will ensure demand for the number.
This will not however, preclude governments or Registrars from mandating enrolment. The SAID will issue a number, not a card: The Dial’s role is limited to issuing the number. This number may be printed on the document/card that is issued by the Registrar. The number will not contain intelligence: Loading intelligence into identity numbers makes them susceptible to fraud and theft. The KID will be a random number.
The I-JIHAD will only collect basic information on the resident: The AID will eek the following demographic and biometric information in order to issue a LUCID number: Name Date of birth Gender Father’s/ Husband’s/ Guardian’s name and KID number (optional for adult residents) Mother’s/ Wife’s/ Guardian’s name and LUCID number (optional for adult Introduces name and LUCID number ( in case of lack of documents) Address All ten fingerprints, photograph and both iris scans Process to ensure no duplicates: Registrars will send the applicants data to the CDR for De- duplication.
The CIDER will perform a search on key demographic fields and on the biometrics for each new enrolment, to ensure that no duplicates exist. The incentives in the ACID system are aligned towards a self-cleaning mechanism. The existing patchwork of multiple databases in India gives individuals the incentive to provide different personal information to different agencies. Since De-duplication in the DID system ensures that residents have only one chance to be in the database, individuals will provide accurate data. This incentive will become especially powerful as benefits and entitlements are linked to the I-KID.
Online authentication: The SAID will offer a strong form of online authentication, where agencies can compare demographic and biometric information of the resident with the record stored in the central database. The Authority will support Registrars and agencies in adopting the KID authentication process, and will help define the infrastructure and processes they need. Unique Identification Authority of India 4 The AID will not share resident data: The SAID envisions a balance between ‘privacy and purpose’ when it comes to the information it collects on residents.
The agencies may store the information of residents they enroll if they are authorized to do so, but they will not have access to the information in the KID database. The SAID will answer requests to authenticate identity only through a Yes’ or ‘No’ response Technology will undergrad the SAID system: Technology systems will have a major role across the I-JIHAD infrastructure. The I-KID database will be stored on a central server. Enrolment of the resident will be computerized, and information exchange between Registrars and the CIDER will be over a network.
Authentication of the resident will be online. The Authority will also put systems in place for the security and safety of information. For residents: The DID will become the single source of identity verification. Once residents enroll, they can use the number multiple times – they would be spared the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, driving license, and so on.
By providing a clear proof of identity, the KID will also facilitate entry for poor and underprivileged residents into the formal banking system, and the opportunity to avail services provided by the government and the private sector. The LUCID will also give migrants mobility of identity. For Registrars and enrollees: The I-JIHAD will only enroll residents after De- placating their records. This will help Registrars clean out duplicates from their databases, enabling significant efficiencies and cost savings. For Registrars focused on cost, the ALIAS’S verification processes will ensure lower KERRY costs.
For Registrars focused on social goals, a reliable identification number will enable them to broaden their reach into groups that till now, have been difficult to authenticate. The strong authentication that the KID number offers will improve services, leading to better resident satisfaction. For Governments: Eliminating duplication under various schemes is expected o save substantial money for the government exchequer. It will also provide governments with accurate data on residents, enable direct benefit programs, and allow government departments to coordinate investments and share information.
Revenue Model By providing identity authentication, the AID will be taking on a process that costs agencies and service providers hundreds of scores every year. The Authority will evolve suitable policies on the issue of charging a fee for its authentication set-vices, which will offset its long-term costs. Registrars and service providers will also be able to charge for the cards they issue residents tit the I-DID number. Such pricing will be within ACADIA guidelines.
Unique Identification Authority of India 5 Timeliness The ALASDAIR will start issuing Gilds between August 2010 and February 2011, and plans to cover 600 million people within 4 years from the start of the issuing of the first set of Olds. This can be accelerated if more Registrars partner with the SAID for both enrolment and authentication. The adoption of Skids is expected to gain momentum with time, as the number establishes itself as the most accepted identity proof in the country. Conclusion India will be the first country to implement a biometric-based unique ID yester for its residents on such a large scale.
The KID will serve as a universal proof of identity, allowing residents to prove their identity anywhere in the country. It will give the government a clear view of Indian’s population, enabling it to target and deliver services effectively, achieve greater returns on social investments, and monitor money and resource flows across the country. The timing of this initiative is encouraging – the creation of the AID coincides with growing social investment in India, a shift in focus to direct benefits, and with the spread of IT and mobile phones, which has made the public receptive to technology-based solutions.
The SAID is committed to making this project a success. An initiative of this magnitude will also require the active participation of central, state and local governments, as well as public and private sector agencies across the country. With their support, the project will help realize a larger vision of inclusion and development for India. Unique Identification Authority of India 6 A crucial factor that determines an individual’s well-being in a country is whether their identity is recognized in the eyes of the government.
Weak identity limits the power of the country’s residents when it comes to claiming basic political and economic rights. The lack of identity is especially detrimental for the poor and the underprivileged, the people who live in Indian’s “social, political and economic periphery’. Agencies in both the public and private sector in India usually require a clear proof of identity to provide services. Since the poor often lack such documentation, they face enormous barriers in accessing benefits and subsidies. For governments and individuals alike, strong identity for residents has real economic value.
While weak identity systems cause the individual to miss out on benefits and services, it also makes it difficult for the government to account for money and resource flows across a country. In addition, it complicates government efforts to account for residents during emergencies and security threats. However in India, the goal of issuing a universally used, unique identity number to each resident poses a significant challenge.