The 16-digit unique identification number to be assigned to each individual by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will now come under the new name ‘AADHAR' and will also bear a logo, which was unveiled here on Monday.
The brand name and logo for the unique number were made public at a meeting chaired by UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, who said these two symbols were necessary to make the scheme and the number recognisable and communicate the spirit and essence of the mandate to the people and win their confidence.
The unique number will be the ‘AADHAR' or foundation through which the citizen can claim his/her rights and entitlements when assured of equal opportunities, as symbolised by the logo, which has the halo of the Sun on the imprint of a thumb.
“The people can connect with both of these instantly,” said Atul Sudhakarrao Pande, whose design was picked from among 2,000 entries. The UIDAI rewarded him with a cheque for Rs.1 lakh.
The brand name and logo were unveiled by Dhaneshwar Ram, a man from a rural background who was the chief guest at the function. He explained the difficulties he faced in establishing his identity in his village in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, even to procure a certificate of residency in the absence of any proof.
Mr. Ram hoped the present exercise would come to the rescue of millions like him .
The UIDAI's first public meeting with its partners was also attended by the secretary of the Department of Information Technology, R. Chandra Shekhar, and UIDAI director-general Ram Sewak Sharma.
Mr. Nilekani said the project had progressed satisfactorily over the nine months of its inception. He was confident of issuing the first unique identification number by August and covering the population of 600 million within four years.
He said the first application of the number would be to cover wage-earners under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and beneficiaries under the food security entitlement. Other issues such as giving children access to education and healthcare and financial services to the masses would be taken up next.