UID project for the government of India is under progress. As informed by Nandan Nilekhani, UID will consist of the following things:
“The UIDs will have basic information about an individual — photograph, father’s name, mother’s name, present address, permanent address, date of birth, biometrics, etc.
Let me state once again, the project is still at its very first phase. It will take us a few more months before we arrive at a final structure.”
UID will have the following advantages as quoted by Nandan:
“Let’s talk about the advantages first.
• The UIDs will provide unique identity to residents of India. Indians will not require to prove their identity to various government departments over and over again.
• It will streamline benefits so that they reach the right people.
• The numbers will eliminate duplication an attempts to obtain fake documents.
• They will facilitate mobility, especially for India’s migrant population.
• The numbers will ensure that different public service delivery organisations work efficiently.
As for the disadvantages, it is a large and complex project. We do have to take into consideration the fact that people have concerns about security and surveillance.
We have to pay attention to the fact that people are being sensitive about the state having key information about them. We have to see to it that people’s privacy is not compromised.”
Here are some of my thoughts on it.
An individual is unique in all respects from the others even though the genes are 99.99% alike. To create his individuality through UID, the following areas might be of concern:
1. Social strata
2. Economic strata
3. Technical strata
4. Legal strata
5. Productivity strata
6. Health Strata
By Social strata, I mean the database should contain the whereabouts of the permanent and current address of the individual, so that for any CSI or crime scene investigation, the police can reach there. The mobile operators will have a special cell of the UID agency (a private agency) that will keep a track of only their current address and permanent address.
By Economic strata, I mean the level of income, tax paid, PAN number, debts in loans, monthly expenditure, which in turn would allow tracking the tax evasion of the individual, and also monthly expenses. This data will be shared by UID Agency with the income tax government.
By Technical strata, I mean the record of the highest degree as well as the details of all the schools attended in the life time should be kept here. This allows tracking the income vs. education ratio, and the general welfare of the individual. This will be an access to the university a person is seeking admission to.
By Legal strata, I mean that the legal procedures against the person should be kept in the records, along with the legal procedures initiated. This can be used to identify and track the criminals moving along the crowd, and keep a close vigil on them.
By Productivity strata, I mean the current organization he works for and his work ratings as a person. This will be of help of companies who would like to access the data from the UID Agency or buy it out for the employees to attain greater productivity rate and a level of perfect working environment.
Also, the Health strata would be stored here like age, health, major operations, illness and duration, frequency of illness, and this could be of use to the medical doctors.
All these 6 records will be in different databases in the country in different geographical locations with mirroring and copying capacity of the database. The data would flow to a common repository to create the central data of UIDs. These centers will have different access levels, and a different security.
These few aspects of UID if implemented would, create a greater transparent individual, detect forged documents, detect illegal immigrants, greater law and order, better transparency in medical well-being, and a sense of ownership in the working companies. By tracking the UIDs, government may know about the where about of the individuals.
The problem is the creation of duplicate UIDs through forged means, but given the biometrics in place and a photograph in the card it would be difficult to crack the code, biological code.
Hope the concept of mine throws some light in your minds. Let me know if you have any debates.
PS: About the organization UID Agency, it should be government regulated independent authority which would be responsible only for the creation, maintenance, deletion, security and access of UID.