A cabinet committee today approved the approach to be adopted by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for collecting demographic and biometric data, the authority's chairman Nandan Nilekani said.
"For the demographic aspect, we will be recording the name, date of birth, sex, address and name of father/mother/guardian. On the biometric side, we will be taking prints of all 10 fingers, a photograph of the face and an image of the iris of every individual," UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani told newspersons after the first meeting of the cabinet committee on UIDAI, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
This will be the first time that the iris will be collected on a national basis and will be used for the government's ambitious programme to provide a unique identity to Indian citizens.
The cabinet committee also approved the collection of biometric attributes for children aged between 5-15 years. This will be incorporated into the ongoing census operation under the National Population Register (NPR).
The information technology czar also said the authority was drafting a law governing its functioning and to ensure that the data collected remained confidential. "This will soon be put in the public domain for discussion before being finalised and tabled in parliament," Nilekani said. "In addition, we have suggested an umbrella law to cover the protection of all data collected in any manner."
The first batch of unique ID numbers will be rolled out between August of this year and February 2011.
"We hope to issue some 600 million unique IDs in four years," Nilekani said.