The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been created as an attached office under the Planning Commission. Its role is to develop and implement the necessary institutional, technical and legal infrastructure to issue unique identity numbers to Indian residents.
On June 25th 2009, the Cabinet also created and approved the position of the Chairperson of the UIDAI, and appointed Mr. Nandan Nilekani as the first Chairperson in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. Mr. Ram Sewak Sharma has been appointed the Director General.
The role that the Authority envisions is to issue a unique identification number (UID) that can be verified and authenticated in an online, cost-effective manner, and that is robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities.
The first UID numbers will be issued over the next 12-18 months counted from August 2009. The first number would be issued between August 2010 to February 2011. Over five years, the Authority plans to issue 600 million UIDs. The numbers will be issued through various ‘registrar’ agencies across the country.