Nandan Nilekani responded via e-mail to questions from Outlook. Excerpts:
The outlay for the UID project has been increased manifold even as some big social projects have seen falling outlays.
The UIDAI would be entering its operational phase in 2010-11 wherein the commitment to start issuing unique numbers would begin. It will be conducting pilots in a number of states in the coming months. The amount would be required for hardware, setting up the Central Identities Data Repository as well as enrolment costs.
Apart from authentication of identity, will there be any other purpose associated with the UID number?
The UID is a very complex and challenging project not only in terms of technology but also in terms of scale, sustainability and adoption. The UIDAI would provide online authentication of identity based on the UID number. If adopted in a number of programmes, the UID will have immense benefit for both government and residents.
You’re now the chairman of the...