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India To Issue First Unique ID Numbers On 29th September 2010; Nandurbar, Maharashtra Goes First

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The Indian government is set to issue its first unique identification numbers, called Aadhaar numbers: according to a communique from the government, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, the Chairman of the ruling coalition (UPA), will distribute the first set of numbers among villagers in the Nandurbar District of Maharashtra. Once completed, India will be the first country to implement a biometric-based unique ID system for its residents on a national scale. A few days ago, the Union Cabinet of the Government of India had approved the Introduction of National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 in Parliament, thus initiating the process by which it will become law. India's Unique ID is expected to address a key issue of financial inclusion and efficiency in distribution of government spends among the poor, by addressing the lack of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. For Mobile & Banking Industries: Lowering Of KYC Costs From a digital industry perspective, KYC is a cost currently borne by telecom operators and banks, and is seen by companies like Nokia as a key impediment to the rollout of mobile payments. With the Unique ID rollout, and expected spends of Rs. 3023.01 crore is being spent until March 2011, the government is taking the cost of KYC upon itself, thus clearing the way for digital and biometric (fingerprints and Iris) authentication as a ubiquitous, real-time and low cost means of verifying identities before offering services to consumers. This will, it is claimed, help eliminate duplicate, ghost and fake…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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