The Indian government's $1.6 billion unique identification initiative Aadhaar has extended the enrollment and verification net to include mobile retail outlets across India.
Previously, only the government, banks and insurance companies were designated as verification authorities but CIOL now reports that 1.6 million retailers of mobile SIM cards and handsets have been authorised to collect applications, conduct biometric scanning and provide a temporary unique ID number to citizens.
They will then send the data to a registrar such as the state government. Currently there are 60 registrars in the country. They will then forward the data to the UIDAI for processing. For more on how Aadhaar is creating an ecosystem to drive demand for applications, services, internet connectivity and new channels for service delivery, read our coverage of VCCircle Insights on The Aadhaar Project.
The 12 digit number, which can be obtained voluntarily, can be used for identification for various services such as an LPG connection, mobile connection and bank accounts. Guidelines have been issued to banks by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the ministry of finance as well as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the oil ministry.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said that it is on track to issue one million Aadhaar numbers a day, starting October 2011. So far, issued UIDs to 9.5 million individuals and now by 2014, expects to have issued 600 million.