‘One Identity’ Card for every Indian with centralized digital database

This suggestion is much-inspired by PM’s recent measure of launching the ‘attendance.gov.in’, aimed at biometric attendance of government employees. The pluses of digitization were hardly known to former administrators; however the use of digital media, for augmenting nation’s productivity, during his control has been far than promising. We have been actively participating by way of disseminating ideas through editorials and via discussions at mygov.in and the youth, indeed, is extremely enthused towards providing aid to the process of India-building. You would agree that mygov.in has refurbished the overall setup and has aptly made use of technology in erecting the India of today, India of and for every Indian. 

Similarly, the ‘Digital India’ programme will do away with many of the flaws of paperwork and will bridge the gap between backward and developed. In the same context, if we could also host a scheme of ‘One Identity’ Card for every Indian, wherein all the information, social as well as financial, of an individual becomes accessible from a single platform, I am sure that requisite drive will be accorded to PM’s vision and labors. Post all the Indians become recognizable via a single platform, devising schemes and policies will be far more accurate, and their execution will be cost-effective. Wouldn’t you agree that humans, who make this society and combine to form a nation, are a key asset as well as a liability? ‘Details with one click’ is thus a pressing need, also to overcome undue harassment of common man. 

Ranging from Voter ID to Driving License and PAN to DIN, we live with multiple identities and the same results in complexity. Recent addition to the list, with loyal intent but blurred plans, is the Aadhaar Card. It is for the first time that the RBI has instructed banks to accept variety of IDs for the purpose of account opening; else the same was a tough job until recent past. The ‘Digital India’ project will, indeed, result into a connected economy, beyond enhancing the government’s delivery system. In my view, the new rulers can either back the Aadhaar project for according it with ‘Inclusive Identity’ attribute or can come up with an all-new plan with the goal of making every Indian distinguishable under ‘one umbrella’- the ‘One Identity’ Card. 

The ultimate idea is to bring a revolutionary and constructive change, wherein India becomes a country with every member of the society ‘identifiable’ with a single endeavor. Confusion and cheating will find no place in such an arrangement. Right from the birth of the child to his/her admission in school and university, from procuring an employment to fetching a bank loan, from criminal/ civil offences to state recognitions (bravery/ Padma awards), and from extension of family to the demise, a distinctive number must hold every noteworthy detail. Escaping from any liability, crime, commitments, and forgery will become unmanageable and rights and interests of an individual would go directly in his/ her pocket. You all would accept that the economy as well as the society will flourish once we overcome duplicities and slipups. 

To list a few pluses, I will mention curbing of subsidy and bank loan frauds which at present are paralyzing the economy. We know that pensions flow from the exchequer even after the death of the pensioner, PAN cards and voter IDs are duplicated to deceive the state, bribe is used as an easy way to get hold of false identity even by non-Indians, and ranging from telephone bills to bank loans, individuals deceive private as well as public enterprises by escaping any track of credit history. Factual number of Indians and voters will too be uncomplicated to discover at any point in time. We know that our PM has an idiosyncratic approach towards prosperity and a stable Indian economy; hence this suggestion may find a place closer to his vision and way of governance.

A central government’s agency can act as depository for all the records viz. Voter ID, DL, PAN, DIN, credit score, penal actions, and even the demise. A single card would then mean access to all-inclusive database of an individual. This would, in turn, uplift the subsidy and social security regime and will curb the existing malpractices of forged data. It is evident that collating all the data and safekeeping of the same at a centralized database is a challenging task. The paybacks, however, will exceed the labors. Imagine carrying just one identity card that would serve all the purposes. Government departments, too, will be relieved of the burden of testing the validity of numerous IDs. If the CG takes this up as the pilot project in Digital India, expect feat.

93 thoughts on “‘One Identity’ Card for every Indian with centralized digital database

  1. Sujit Kumar Nandan

    This will be the best initiative possible in independent india. Citizenship of an individual and all the relationship with its government through various agencies should be centralised and leveraging the modern technology should be transparent. Government please listen to the call for this initiative which can reinvigorate the idea of swachh bharat in every aspect. Needy will get its share of help and robbers will get its share of stick

  2. Nabar Gajanan

    No one has thought over to ease the process of documentation.
    I think the new government is tech-driven and will undertake steps to put an end to cumbersome documents and IDs.

  3. Hemant Kakora

    In every department you need a separate identity and number.
    Best is to keep all record under one number which the writer has suggested.
    This will bring pace to our working.

  4. Joseph George

    When just one document will become a complete biodata of an individual,
    I think crime rate will also come down.
    People will find it difficult to escape.

  5. Harbeen

    NPAs are a result of cumbersome documents and multiple identities.
    One track record with all data is a perfect answer,
    at least for personal loans and credit cards.

  6. Mahesh Chaddha

    When other countries can do this why cant India.
    USA has SSN which has all the record of US citizens.
    Are we so back in terms of technology?

  7. Gaurav Kumar

    Also add to the same marital records and records of children.
    This will check population growth and will refrain people from escaping from previous commitments.

  8. Rishabh

    My initial thoughts after having read the full article (1) Eloquently written (2) Succinct and to the point.

  9. Kamal Khosla

    Digital India should definitely has this as their first project.
    I think government is coming up with digital india on new year.
    Let 2015 be a year when we go online for everything.

  10. Harish Chaturvedi

    You are right in saying that duplicity will come to end but who will check this one identity thing?
    Corruption can come into play even in this.
    First, bring an anti-corruption measure.

  11. Rakesh Kumar Jain

    Subsidies are killing India and above that are forged records and identities which fetch government money for nothing.
    This will stop if every person has a unique and single identity.

  12. Geetha Kumar

    Biometric record keeping is must otherwise this will also work as voter ID cards.
    This will consume hell lot of money.
    But the benefits will exceed the money invested this is for sure.

  13. Glenn R. Dinetz

    I would be disappointed if people in the USA ever allowed this.
    A government controlled identity card is not compatible with our beliefs.
    Would have to be a voluntary opt in plan under private or trust control.

  14. Bawa Grover

    Must applaud & strongly endorse this point Dr Gupta.
    This is the single biggest reform we need in the country. Will help catalyze a series of downstream initiatives and help in improved governance.

    We need to improve Organisation structure, processes, operations, technology, performance measures & KPIs and people practices. There is no way we can achieve this at a country level without one and only one unique ID for every Citizen.

    Congrats Dr Gupta for leading the way in articulating this critically important and actionable point.
    Let us all try and support this movement & take this forward.
    Thanks & with warm regards, Bawa

  15. Dr C Chellappan

    Very Good concept . One person one time unique Id creation and maintenance will be the ideal solution.
    Certain issues to be addressed:
    How to create the ID? It should be like our cellphone numbering or internet address concept indicating village/region/state/country etc.
    How to implement is a big challenge?
    Sustainable policy implementation on stage wise/strata wise to be made on
    i. how to make use of existing bio-info and other relevant data from sources like Aatharcard, pan-Id, voter-id , bank-account, driving license, healthcare insurance, school education records, ration card info. , so that partial/full database will be ready in short period of time with least cost.
    ii. Capturing data and assigning IDat various stages – at birth certificate issue stage, children entering primary/high school/etc

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