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AADHAAR in Kerala - Orientation for Secretaries and Heads of Departments

The benefits of the AADHAAR project are innumerable and the unique identification number is quite relevant and essential for India of today which is coming out with a multitude of programmes, said Dr.P.Prabhakaran IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala. He was saying that while delivering the Chief Guest's address on the occasion of the AADHAAR OverviewWorkshop for Secretaries and Heads of Department at the Hotel Taj Residency, Trivandrum on 13th September 2010, organized jointly by the Department of Information Technology, Government of Kerala & Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

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. The UIDAI's mandate is to provide every Indian resident a unique identification number linked to the resident's demographic and biometric information, which they can use to identify themselves anywhere in India, and to access a host of benefits and services. The number (referred to until recently as the 'UID') has been named AADHAAR, which translates into 'foundation', or 'support'.

Earlier, Dr.Ajay Kumar IAS, Principal Secretary (IT), Government of Kerala, while delivering the welcome address, said that the beauty of AADHAAR lay in the fact that is very basic and fundamental. It has four fundamentals including name, sex, age and address and also involves biometrics and shall be useful in identifying a person, just like one's name. He added that the State Governments have an important role to play in the implementation of the project. In Kerala three agencies have been identified including IT@School (for enrolling children), Akshaya (for rural population) and Keltron for the urban population. Training and orientation programmes have been planned at all levels and today's workshop represented the highest level of training and orientation. The unique identification is free to individuals and residents, he concluded.

Dr.Ashok Dalwai, Deputy Director General, UIDAI made a detailed presentation on the AADHAAR project. He began by saying that it was in the year 2006 that the Planning Commission first thought about the need to capture the data of citizens and continuously update it. He congratulated Kerala for being one of the first States in the country to come forward to take role of a Registrar State; three agencies have been identified for the process. Dr.Ashok said that the UIDAI follows the Japanese concept of Kaizen or continuous improvement and is a very transparent organization. A contact centre has been set up at 1800 180 1947; the choice of 1947 being intentional to denote 'second freedom'.

UIDAI officials also made technical presentations on AADHAAR Applications & AADHAAR in Kerala, Financial Inclusion & AADHAAR Implementation Strategy, IEC Strategy and Biometric Solutions. A technical demonstration of enrolment kit, authentication devices, client enrolment and application demonstration with specific reference to Know Your Resident was a highlight of the Workshop. Dr.Rathan U.Kelkar IAS, Director, Kerala State IT Mission proposed a vote of thanks in the Workshop, in which around 90 senior level officers including Secretaries and Heads of Departments participated.

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