Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 16:45 UK

India to launch 'ID card' scheme

Children in India
The government says better ID will mean aid is delivered more fairly

The Indian government has begun moves to provide a Unique Identification (UID) number to its citizens, the central government has announced.

It has appointed Infosys Technologies co-chairman Nandan Nilekani as head of a new body to determine how the scheme will be implemented.

The project will mean that all Indian adults will have to carry what is in effect an identity card.

It was a key commitment in the election manifesto of the Congress party.

In its manifesto, Congress said it may be possible to provide every Indian adult with a card after the publication of the national population register in 2011.

The BBC's Soutik Biswas in Delhi says that the scheme - which is being implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) - is being done primarily to provide better security in the country, especially in the wake of recent militant attacks.

Our correspondent says that another aim of the multi-million dollar scheme is to ensure that food handouts and employment opportunities for poorer people are more fair. It is also hoped that the card will help tackle identity theft and fraud.

Mr Nilekani will be the chairman of UIDAI and will have a place in the Indian cabinet. He has resigned his membership of Infosys Board of Directors following his appointment.

Experts say the scheme is likely to take several years to implement.

Print Sponsor

India bans mobiles without 'code'
18 Jun 09 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific