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eGovWatch: Aadhaar no. likely to be identity link  


Giving another fillip to the UPA government’s Aadhaar project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme is likely to include the 12-digit number as a key component, making it a crucial part of the programme.

By Ruhi Tewari

The ‘Digital India’ campaign is aimed at ensuring that government services are available to citizens electronically. It also envisions providing a “cradle-to-grave digital identity” that is “unique, lifelong and online”.

According to government sources, this digital identity is in all likelihood going to be Aadhaar.

While initially there was uncertainty surrounding the nature of the identity and whether a separate one would be created, officials now say it is almost certain that Aadhaar would serve as the online identity. “Aadhaar fits the description of the cradle-to-grave identity. It is digital as well as unique and lifelong because it uses biometrics.

To create another such identity when one already exists would be both time-consuming and duplication,” an official said.

Officials say it became clear that Aadhaar would serve as the identity after a high-level meeting chaired by Modi earlier this month where he took stock of the progress of Aadhaar and enrolment status.

Further, the Cabinet recently cleared Rs 1,200 crore for the next phase of Aadhaar, while setting an enrolment target of 100 crore by the end of 2015.

This is also in line with Modi’s push to Aadhaar in the last two months where he has made it the basis for several new projects, including introducing Aadhaar-based attendance system for all central government officials.

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