The Aadhar project has been approved Rs 88.6 billion by the finance ministry to reach out to 200 million Indians with biometric cards. The approval still falls short of extending the project to the entire Indian adult population but will allow the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to develop back-end capacity for servicing the entire database of 1.2 billion Indians.
For the time being, it also settles the dispute between Aadhar and the home ministry on who will do the front-end job of registering all adults on a national database. The approval will, therefore, keep the momentum going for the Nandan Nilekani-led project which is an integral part of UPA-II’s governance reform process that aims to provide a unique identification number to every Indian with linked data in biometrics. The home ministry wants the office of the Census General to do the registration as the National Population Register.