UIDAI / Aadhaar Project is a Government of India (GoI) initiative to assign a centralised identification number to all residents of India. Headed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Founder and ex Co-Chairman of Infosys Technologies.
The UID will dispose the need to produce different identity documents for availing various services (opening a bank account, mobile connection etc.) by assigning every resident a non-tamperable UID number linked to his/her demographic and biometric information. Backed by intensive use of technology, it will greatly facilitate easy verification of a person’s identity and enable a single communication to trigger address changes in all relevant agency records. It will also serve as the basis for many e-Governance services incorporating online verification of a person’s identity.
This major transformational project will throw open horizontal opportunities such as IT consulting, application development & maintenance services, systems integration, and storage services (data centre and servers). Further, large number of biometric devices such as (cameras, scanners, and iris scanners) will be extensively used across the country for the purpose of enrolment. Biometric attributes such as face, all 10 finger prints, and iris are planned to ensure the uniqueness. Thus, it is a significant opportunity for biometric device manufacturers.
It is estimated that the UID project will offer an INR 150-200 bn (USD 3.3-4.4 bn) opportunity towards computing, database, smartcard, storage vendors, and system integrators. Further, industry participants estimate ~60% of this spending to be directed towards hardware vendors.
The UID project will require biometric identification devices located at various identification points like airports, banks, utility offices, to be connected to the centralized data base. Telecom service providers could provide a communication link between distributed identification devices and the centralised database.
By 2014, The Government intends to open the UIDAI Database Open to Companies who can deploy Applications suitable for Citizens Identity Management. Who knows, Facebook may use it to Authenticate user’s profile.