India will have to accept only a Aadhaar-linked card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for most consumer-facing industries and products, a senior official of the government’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology has said.
Speaking to a briefing, UIDAI Director General Prakash Dhar said the government had to ensure that Aadhaar was used to identify all persons in the country as well as for the registration of all documents and records.
He said the department would work on the implementation of the Aadhaar project and other programmes to enhance the identification of all citizens, and make Aadhaar a more universal and relevant identity.
He said there would be a phased rollout of the project and a finalised set of specifications for the Aadhaar system by the end of March.
The department has identified seven categories of industries, ranging from healthcare to retail and the manufacturing sector, in which Aadhaar would be required to be valid.
The department had earlier said it was working towards a “national register of all persons, irrespective of their identity or residence in the nation, including the use of Aadhaar in the creation of a national identity card”.
It had also asked states to create a national database of the unique identification numbers of residents.
According to the report, the government has been considering whether the government should use Aadhaar for a wide range of transactions and to create an integrated digital identity for citizens.
In February this year, the National Electronic Identity Authority of Pakistan, the Indian government body responsible for the country’s biometric authentication system, had said it would develop Aadhaar for all government offices and departments across the country.
The government had also said it is working on a biometric identity card, which it said would be linked to a bank account or bank account number, and would be issued in a digital format for citizens, unlike the current system of printing and entering the card.
Last month, the department had said the UIDAI would also be able to issue biometric cards for all citizens by 2019.
“The government has identified that Aadhaar will be mandatory for all transactions including for bank accounts and credit cards, as well for the identification and authentication of all beneficiaries in the state,” Dhar had said in the briefing.
“The department is also looking at the creation and implementation of a biometrics-based identity card.
This is the first time that a department has proposed this and is now looking at its implementation,” he said.