Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a government agency in New Delhi that serves as the issuing authority for Aadhaar unique identification numbers (UIDs) and cards. The agency has been mandated by the government to develop, identify and set up the necessary infrastructure for issuing Aadhaar cards.
The UIDAI was established in 2009 and functions as part of the Planning Commission of India. The agency issues cards with the help of several registrar agencies composed of state-owned entities and departments as well as public sector banks and entities such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India. As of this writing, UIDAI has issued 20 crores Aadhaar UID numbers and cards across the country in the past two years. It expects to cover another 40 crore individuals by 2014.
UIDAI works in consultation with the Registrar General of India, which is responsible for census data in India. The agency is headed by the former chairman and co-founder of Infosys Ltd, Nandan Nilekani, who has the rank and status of a cabinet minister.
To empower residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate anytime, anywhere.
- To provide for good governance, efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India to residents of India through assigning of unique identity numbers.
- To develop policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar number to residents of India, who request for same by submitting their demographic information and biometric information by undergoing the process of enrolment.
- To develop policy, procedure, and systems for Aadhaar holders for updating and authenticating their digital identity.
- Ensure availability, scalability, and resilience of the technology infrastructure.
- Build a long-term sustainable organization to carry forward the vision and values of the UIDAI.
- To ensure security and confidentiality of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
- To ensure compliance of Aadhaar Act by all individuals and agencies in letter and spirit.
- To make regulations & rules consistent with the Aadhaar Act, for carrying out the provisions of the Aadhaar Act.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) vide its Gazette Notification No.-A-43011/02/2009-Admn.I) dated 28th January 2009. Later, on 12 September 2015, the Government revised the Allocation of Business Rules to attach the UIDAI to the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) of the then Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India 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 first UID number was issued on 29 September 2010 to a resident of Nandurbar, Maharashtra. The Authority has so far issued more than 120 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and also required to ensure the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.