Indian IT icon Nandan Nilekani, who took over as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIADI) today, expressed the hope that the first set of unique identification numbers will be issued within the next 12-18 months.
Interacting with the media at his new Yojana Bhawan office, Nilekani said the unique identification number, which will include personal and demographic details of residents in the country, would ensure multifarious benefits to the citizens by enabling different applications.
More importantly, he said the common man would be empowered by establishing his identity across the country through a unique number.
These numbers, he added, while helping them in obtaining the benefits of government schemes, would also help them in other activities like opening a bank account or availing electricity connection.
Asked how the authority will deal with the issue of large number of Bangladeshi migrants in states like Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, he said, "It is a project for residents. The charter of this (project) is to create an online database of residents of the country."
Nilekani clarified that the job of UIAI was not to issue cards.