PM likely to launch Unique IDs first in AP

The state will achieve the unique distinction of becoming the launching pad for the gigantic project — Aadhar — that will ensure that every Indian citizen has a unique identification card. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is likely to launch the project from the state this month. Though the exact date has not been communicated to the government so far, the state has been told to make arrangements for the event. Sources said the UID chairman, Mr Nandan Nilekani, was keen that the Prime Minister launched the programme.

Accordingly, on Thursday, the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, convened the high-level special committee on UID and reviewed the state’s preparedness to make Aadhar successful. “We are geared up to launch the project this month and issue UID to 3.5 crore people within six months,” the civil supplies minister, Mr J. Krishna Rao, told mediapersons after the meeting.

The meeting decided to take the database of civil supplies and rural development for identifying the card users. The state had already made use of biometrics (iris and thumb impression) in both the departments to issue ration cards and job cards for the national rural employment guarantee programme. The first phase of UID will cover Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Adilabad, East Godavari, Srikakulam, Chittoor and Anantapur by March, 2011.

The government will set up special booths for citizens to come and provide biometric features to obtain the number. “It was decided to take the impression of all 10 fingers,” a senior official said, adding that verification of the genuineness of the applicant would also be taken up.

While UID will issue the number, the state government will subsequently take the task of providing the cards to the citizens. The officials decided to cross match the fresh data of UID with the existing data in civil supplies and rural development departments.

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