Identification : The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has generated over 3.11 crore 'Aadhaar' numbers till the beginning of this month, with Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra having garnered the maximum numbers so far, the government said today. "A total of 3,11,84,630 Aadhar numbers (Identification) have been generated as on September 1, 2011," Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Over 1.06 crore Aadhaar numbers (Identification) have been generated in Andhra Pradesh, followed by almost 72 lakh in Maharashtra and 33 lakh in Karnataka, he added. The UIDAI plans to cover 60 crore citizens under the Aadhaar (Identification) project by March 2014. Kumar said that the total expenditure for the Aadhaar programme stood at Rs 57.09 crore during the April-July period of the current fiscal. The expenditure had stood at Rs 26.21 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 268.41 crore in 2010-11. "The total approved estimated cost of Phase I and II of the project spread over five years from 2009-10 to 2013-14 is Rs 3,170.32 crore," the minister said.
"Aadhar aims to provide soft identity infrastructure which can be used to re-engineer public services so that these lead to equitable, efficient and better delivery of services," Kumar said. The minister said that current enrolment under the scheme is voluntary. "Enrolment of residents for Aadhaar number (Identification) is voluntary. As and when the implementing ministries, departments and agencies consider the application of Aadhaar number(Identification) in their programmes, schemes or services, they may also decide whether it is required to be mandatory for their purpose," he said. UIDAI has been mandated by the government to issue a unique identification number -- 'Aadhar'(Identification). It can be verified and authenticated online in a cost effective manner and will eliminate duplicate and fake identity proofs. The programme was initially conceived by the Planning Commission in 2006 as an initiative to provide identification proof for each Indian resident and would be primarily used as the basis of efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programmes and schemes of the Government.