Unique ID: A Dozen Milestones

On Monday, Nandan Nilekani, the chairman of the Unique ID Authority of
India, unveiled a new name and logo for the Unique ID project. The
project would now be called AADHAAR.

“UID itself is very confusing. Some people call it DUI, somebody calls
it IUD and so forth. So it was getting a little difficult to explain
all this various permutations, combinations of this acronym,” Nilekani

“Therefore, we wanted a name that could effectively communicate its
transformational potential and its promise to residents. Something that
had a national appeal that could be recognised across the country,
could resonate in different languages and easy to remember and speak,”
he said.

Here we present some milestones in the journey of the concept and then
the project

#1 August 21, 2003: A
Parliamentary Committee under the Chairmanship of then Deputy Prime
Minister, LK Advani approves creation of a Multipurpose National Identity Card with a note that there should be compulsory registration of citizens and
non-citizens living in India

#2 December 4, 2006: The Prime
Minister appoints an empowered group of Ministers (EGoM) to collate two
schemes:  the National Population Register under the Citizenship
Act, 1955 and the Unique Identification Number project of the
Department of Information Technology.

#3 December 11, 2007: In the
Dataquest Annual Award Night, Nandan Nilekani, then co-chairman of
Infosys and the chairman of the Dataquest Jury, in his address
passionately talks of an urgent need to create a national identity
system in India. Most part of his speech was dedicated to this topic.

#4 November 4, 2008: The Empowered
Group of Ministers (EGOM) headed by the external affairs minister,
Pranab Mukherji, with ministers of home, IT & communications, Law
and Panchayatiraj as members, approves the establishment of a Unique
Authority, under the Planning Commission.

#5 January 28, 2009: Planning
Commission constitutes and notifies formation of the Unique ID
Authority of India

#6 February 16, 2009: Finance
Minister Pranab
in his interm budget 2009-10 speech allocates Rs 100
crore to UID project

#7 March 14, 2009: The Bharatiya
Janata Party releases its IT vision document,which talks of a
Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC), with national security
being the key driving factor behind it, to be rolled out in three
years. It said it would amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to combine the
offices of the Registrar General of the Census of India and that of the
UIAI to set up a Citizenship Regulatory Authority of India (CRAI).

#8 June 25, 2009: Nandan Nilekani
appointed Chairman of UIDAI,
with the rank of a cabinet minister

#9 July 23, 2009: Nilekani
formally takes over as the Chairman of UIDAI

#10 August 12, 2009: The first
meeting of Prime Ministers Council of UID Authority that deliberated on
the broad direction and powers of UIDAI

#11 January 6, 2010: In a meeting
with Nilekeani, banks and telecom companies agree to jointly work on a
revenue share model to roll out mobile banking.

#12 April 26, 2010: Nilekani
unveils the brand strategy for UID and announces the new name AADHAAR

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